Raleigh, NC -- Vincent Trocheck and Andrei Svechnikov each a goal and an assist, as the Carolina Hurricanes (28-10-4, 60pts) defeated the Nashville Predators (24-20-1, 49pts) 4-1 on Thursday night.
Sebastian Aho and Warren Foegele also scored for Carolina.
Former Hurricane Erik Haula scored a shorthanded goal for the Predators.
"That looked more like how we want to play," Carolina head coach Rod Brind'Amour said after the game. "We needed that kind of effort, for sure. Usually, if you have that kind of effort, your chances [to win] go way up."
After more than 18 minutes of scoreless hockey, Carolina got on the board with a backhanded shot from Warren Foegele.
"Unbelievable pass [from Staal]. The puck got out from deep, I thought I had a step on my guy and was hoping that Jordo saw me. [It was] just a beautiful pass by him, and I'm happy to get that one in," Warren Foegele said after the game.
Only 14 seconds into the 2nd period, Andrei Svechnikov doubled Carolina's lead. Once again, the shot came on the backhand.
"[Dougie's pass] was great; I knew he was going to make that pass because he always makes those little passes in the middle. So I tried to cut to the middle and tried to get that pass and [drive] with speed on the net," Andrei Svechnikov said.
It was the start of a dominant period for the Canes, where they outshot Nashville 14-6.
At 5:34, Vincent Trocheck, who had his point streak snapped in the Canes' prior game against Detroit, got a new point streak started.
Trocheck broke into the offensive zone, fired a low shot, collected his own rebound, and fired it into the back of the net to extend the Canes' lead to three.
Trocheck, who earned first-star honors, spoke about how important it was to get the win.
"If you want to be one of the best teams in the league, you have to come every single night. Laying an egg, like we did the last couple games [against Detroit], it's important to get back on track and make sure we're playing our game, especially this late into the season, before we head into the playoffs."
Petr Mrazek (5-1-1, .944 SV%, 1.41 GAA) improved to 3-1 since his return from thumb surgery. He made 19 saves on 20 shots faced. His former teammate, Erik Haula, ended his bid for a shutout with a shorthanded breakaway goal at 9:30 of the 3rd period.
The Canes capped off the game with a powerplay goal. Trocheck fed a slick pass to Sebastian Aho, who hammered home a one-timer to put the game away at 17:22.
Carolina (60pts) kept pace with Tampa Bay (60pts), who beat Florida (59pts) in overtime.
Carolina retains one game in hand on Tampa and two on Florida. The Canes will see both of those teams next week when they begin a six-game road trip.
Jordan Staal, Martin Necas, Nino Niederreiter, Dougie Hamilton, Brett Pesce, and Jaccob Slavin each recorded one assist for the Canes. Petr Mrazek was initially credited with a secondary assist on the Canes' first goal, but that was later awarded to Nino Niederreiter.
Teuvo Teravainen (concussion), Brock McGinn (upper body), Jake Gardiner (healthy), and James Reimer (healthy) did not dress for the game.
Jani Hakanpaa made his Hurricanes debut. He registered 3 hits, took a tripping penalty in the 2nd period, and finished the game plus-1.
Juuse Saros (15-8-0, .926 SV%, 2.24 GAA) took the loss for Nashville. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for Saros, dating back to April 3rd.
Carolina: The Hurricanes complete their eight-game homestand with the second game in their back-to-back against the Nashville Predators, Saturday night at 7:00 ET.
Nashville: The Predators remain in Raleigh to take on the Hurricanes on Saturday evening at 7:00 ET.