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Carolina Collapse: Hurricanes drop first game of the post-Eric Staal era

On Sunday, the Rangers acquired Eric Staal in a trade with the Hurricanes for two, second-round picks in the 2016 and 2017 drafts, as well as prospect Aleksi Saarela.

The Carolina Hurricanes played their first game of the post-Eric Staal era this afternoon and it didn’t go well.

The ‘Canes got goals from Jeff Skinner and Ron Hainsey in the first period and went into the break with a 2-1 lead.

Unfortunately for Carolina, that’s as good as things would get.

The Blues responded with four unanswered goals from David Backes, Kyle Brodziak, Robby Fabbri and Alex Pietrangelo to beat the ‘Canes 5-2.

Brodziak scored the go-ahead goal while the Blues were shorthanded:

The Hurricanes were forced to play with a short bench for a portion of this game. Kris Versteeg, Jay McClement and Riley Nash were all held out for various reasons, according to head coach Bill Peters.

That’s an interesting choice of words from the head coach.

On the surface, it looks like one or more of those players is garnering some trade interest.

TVA’s Renaud Lavoie weighed in:

Peters also touched on Staal’s departure:

For the Blues, this was a much needed two points. They came into this game having lost three straight.

St. Louis is two points behind Chicago for first place in the Central Division.