Canes Now

Eric Staal leads Wild past Canes

Minnesota Wild left wing Jason Zucker (16) scores against Carolina Hurricanes goalie Alex Nedeljkovic (35) as defenseman Matt Tennyson (26) looks on during the third period of an NHL preseason hockey game in St. Paul, Minn. Minnesota won 3-1.
Minnesota Wild left wing Jason Zucker (16) scores against Carolina Hurricanes goalie Alex Nedeljkovic (35) as defenseman Matt Tennyson (26) looks on during the third period of an NHL preseason hockey game in St. Paul, Minn. Minnesota won 3-1. AP

Eric Staal signed a free-agent contract with the Minnesota Wild believing he can still be a consistent point producer.

Staal was on Sunday, albeit in a preseason game. The former Carolina Hurricanes captain had a goal and assist as the Wild topped the Canes 3-1 in St. Paul, Minn.

The Canes took a 1-0 lead in the first on a power-play goal by Derek Ryan as Bryan Bickell and Jaccob Slavin had the assists. The Wild quickly tied it 1-1 in the second when Staal set up Charlie Coyle for a goal with a pass from behind the net.

In the third, Staal scored during a delayed penalty against the Canes (2-1-1). The Wild added a final goal from Jason Zucker with less than five minutes left in regulation.

Canes coach Bill Peters was behind the bench for the first time in preseason. Peters missed training camp serving as an assistant coach for Canada in the World Cup.

The Canes, outshot 38-17, had few regulars in the lineup while the Wild dressed a strong lineup. Michael Leighton was the starting goalie for Carolina, stopping 20 of 21 shots, and Alex Nedeljkovic gave up two goals on 17 shots after entering the game with 6:32 left in the second period.

Slavin had almost 25 minutes of ice time and Ryan Murphy 23 for the Canes.

Jordan Staal was not in the lineup Sunday to face his brother, who was traded by Carolina to the New York Rangers last season and became a free agent on July 1.

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