Erik Cole assisted on all three of Staal's goals and finished with four assists. Tuomo Ruutu scored twice and Scott Walker, Dwight Helminen, Rod Brind'Amour and Frantisek Kaberle also scored for the Hurricanes. They led 3-0 after one period and 6-0 after two, held a 57-12 shots advantage and extended their franchise-record home-ice winning streak to 12.
Yann Danis stopped just seven of the 10 shots he faced in the first before giving way to Joey MacDonald, who made 41 saves but allowed six goals for the Islanders. Never before had they lost by more than eight goals - and they hadn't done that since losing 8-0 at St. Louis in 1988.
This one couldn't have been much worse. They finished with more than twice as many penalty minutes as shots, didn't hit double figures in shots until there were 6 minutes left, and by the midpoint of the third, they had as many shots (eight) as Carolina had goals (eight).
Anton Babchuk had four assists and Dennis Seidenberg added three for the Hurricanes, who continued their push for the No. 4 seed in the East.
Their nine-game winning streak matched the mark reached twice by the 2005-06 team that won the Stanley Cup, and Ward broke the mark for victories set by that season's starter, Martin Gerber, who won 38 before Ward supplanted him on his way to the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Staal polished off his club-record fourth hat trick of the season before the second period was over. He stretched Carolina's lead to 2-0 midway through the first, when he took a feed from Cole, faked a pass from the left circle and shot the puck around defenseman Mark Streit and past Danis. His backhand past MacDonald made it 4-0 early in the second.
Then, he completed his eighth career three-goal game at 16:51 of the second, taking a pretty pass from - who else? - Cole and one-timing it by MacDonald for his 39th goal.
He and the Hurricanes didn't waste much time taking the suspense out of this one.
They needed less than 3 minutes to take a 1-0 lead. Seidenberg pulled in Jack Hillen's clearing attempt just inside the blue line, and unloaded a shot that clipped Helminen on its way through a crowd in front of the net for his second career goal.
By then, the rout was on - and it could have been worse, had Danis not stopped Ray Whitney's breakaway in the opening minute.
Notes: Carolina LW Jussi Jokinen had two assists. ... The Islanders put just two shots on net in the second. ... Cole has 14 points in 15 games since the Hurricanes reacquired him at the trade deadline. ... Carolina D Joe Corvo was scratched with the flu...New York RW Richard Park skated in the 600th game of his career.
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