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Canes Drop "Practice Game" to Predators, 4-2

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The Carolina Hurricanes opened their preseason schedule at the RBC with a 4-2 loss Friday night to the Nashville Predators. The team had more bad moments than good, but the results ended up making the coach happy because he now has something to use as a tool.  You have to work hard in order to win hockey games.

The Preds started out with more jump early in the game, but the Canes drew a couple of penalties and Erik Cole opened the scoring on a rebound play.  Just 58 seconds later though, Nashville tied the score.

It was an ugly second period for the home team as the Preds scored twice to open up a 3-1 lead.  But early in the third, Eric Staal knocked in a missed Ray Whitney shot and the Hurricanes finally started to put on some consistent pressure in the Nashville zone.  They were unable to score again though and the Predators buried an empty netter with just 16 seconds left to close out the scoring.

Game Notes:

  • It was one of the smallest crowds I remember seeing at the RBC.  Official attendance was 8,495.
  • The powerplay had mixed results and at times looked very good and at other times looked completely disorganized.  Matt Cullen and Joe Corvo started at the points with Bryan Rodney, Aaron Ward, and Brett Carson also taking turns.  They ended up 1 for 6 with the man advantage.
  • Paul Maurice was not totally unhappy with the game because he now has an example of "what not to do".  When asked if four preseason games were enough to prepare the team, he quipped, "ask me again three to four games into the regular season".
  • Tim Conboy left the game early but it is a minor injury and he should not miss any time.
  • Nicolas Blanchard fought Triston Grant to a draw as neither player left their feet during a long bout.
  • The kids, Zach Boychuk and Brandon Sutter, both finished with a  -2.  Boychuk had a bad turnover leading to the second Preds goal early in the second period.  But both of them had jump and had positive moments while playing offense.  
  • Cory gave the new video scoreboard, "First star of the game", but it does have some numbers in odd places that will take time getting used to.  The graphics and videos though are tremendous.
  • Next up for the Canes is a game in Atlanta on Monday night.