Sixteen games into the playoffs, the Canes are 8-8 going into tonight's Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Eric Staal has scored a goal in seven of those games. As you know by now, the Canes are 7-0 in those games, which means they're 1-8 when he does not score.
Staal hasn't scored in five games and, not surprisingly, the Canes are 1-4 in those games.
Down 0-2 in the series, the Canes face a must-win tonight to have any chance to play for the Stanley Cup. That means Staal must score tonight, right?
"We scored four goals on the road in Game 2, that's enough to win," Canes coach Paul Maurice said. "If Eric Staal doesn't score ... all the better for us because we know he's going to at some point."
That's Maurice's way of answering a question he's growing weary of answering but the truth is the Canes need Staal, just like every team needs their best players to perform in the playoffs.
Pittsburgh's top-end guys, Sidney Crosby (one goal, two assists) and Evgeni Malkin (four goals, two assists), have been spectacular.
Still, Maurice said the last thing he's worried about is his star center.
"He handles the pressure of being that player for us very, very well," Maurice said. "We think so much of him because he has always elevated his game, like all great players do."
Staal, for his part, was not sweating his five-game drought. Sure he'd like the last-minute chance that was on his stick in Game 1 back, but he's ready to get his team back in the series.
"We're not that far off," he said.
Funny, Maurice said the same thing on Friday.