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Predators hold off the Penguins

SHARE Predators hold off the Penguins

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Scott Walker scored his first two goals since returning from surgery that kept him out of 33 games, and the Nashville Predators held off the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-4 Sunday night.

Paul Kariya, Martin Erat and Adam Hall also scored for the Predators and Scott Hartnell finished with two assists.

The Penguins, who scored more than one goal for the first time in four games, lost their sixth straight. Ryan Malone and Colby Armstrong each had a goal and an assist, and Michel Ouellet and Josef Melichar also scored.

Nashville was very happy to be home after playing 10 of the last 13 on the road. The Predators chased Sebastien Caron out of the net 1:11 into the second after Walker's second goal made it 4-1.

The Predators nearly squandered the lead as the Penguins refused to go away. They outshot Nashville 39-32, including 16-5 in the third. Armstrong scored his third of the season at 9:15 of the third, squeezing the puck through goaltender Tomas Vokoun's legs to make it 5-4.

Walker had surgery in November for a sports hernia and returned to the lineup last week.

HURRICANES 4, BLUES 2: At Raleigh, N.C., Eric Staal had three goals and Carolina rallied to beat St. Louis for its seventh straight victory. The Hurricanes improved the NHL's best home record to 20-4-1. With 64 points, they moved in front of Philadelphia, Ottawa and Detroit for the best record in the league. Backup goaltender Cam Ward made 31 saves to win his second start in seven games.

Staal got his second career NHL hat trick after missing part of the first period following a high stick from Dennis Wideman, and he returned with stitches and minus a tooth.

Petr Cajanek and Mike Sillinger scored for the Blues, who have lost six straight.

DEVILS 3, BLACKHAWKS 2 (SO): At Chicago, Patrik Elias and Viktor Kozlov scored in a shootout and New Jersey beat the Blackhawks 3-2 for its season-high sixth straight win. Devils goalie Martin Brodeur stopped 29 shots and tied former Blackhawks goalie Tony Esposito for fifth on the NHL's all-time wins list with 423. Tyler Arnason had a goal and an assist for Chicago, and Radim Vrbata scored in his fourth straight game. Mikael Holmqvist scored the lone goal in the shootout for the Blackhawks.