The Carolina Hurricanes played the Nashville Predators about as evenly as you could ask and also took advantage of two goals which both goal scorers said were a bit lucky, as they defeated the Preds, 2-1 in front of an announced crowd of 9,161 at the PNC Arena on Tuesday night.
But the old saying is, "you make your own luck", and that could be said for Carolina this night.
At the end of a very tightly checked first period, Andrej Nestrasil made a nice play along the boards and back-handed the puck toward the net as Jeff Skinner was skating in. Skinner was able to get his stick on it and the puck got past goalie, Pekka Rinne to give the Canes a 1-0 lead with just 1:01 left in the period.
Skinner said after the game that some goals are like that. "Sometimes the best scoring chances don't work out, but then a puck gets chipped in and you will take it." He admitted he was just trying to get a stick on the puck, but that was all it took this time around.
After a scoreless second period during which almost every shot was contested, Victor Rask would score early in the third to make it 2-0 on a shot that got deflected as he shot it. The shot fooled Rinne, who currently has one of the best records in the NHL.
The score came just 55 seconds into the third and the Preds came gunning for Cam Ward the rest of the way as they outshot the Canes, 15-6 in that final stanza.
Carolina got two chances on the powerplay in that period but were unable to capitalize and finally, Nashville got a break. With 4:46 left in the game, the Canes failed to clear the puck and it came to Mike Ribeiro, who had set up camp all alone in front of Ward. Ribeiro made a nifty move to make it, 2-1 and the Preds had life.
The Hurricanes buckled down though and even though Riley Nash got called for tripping with about a minute left, they were able to hold off the Preds. Andrej Sekera blocked a key shot near the end to help Ward earn the win.
Ward continued to play a solid game in net and made 32 saves on 33 shots overall.
Sekera wore the fireman's helmet after the game and was the team's player of the game.
Skinner continues his hot scoring against Nashville and now has 10 points, (5G 5A) in six career games against the franchise.
The Hurricanes are now 1-1 in this important five game homestand. Next up will be the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.
- After being close most of the game, the Canes were outshot, 33-25 for the game. Eric Staal led the home team with five shots followed by Gerbe with four.
- The team had a tough night in the faceoff circle and won just 38% for the game. Staal was high man at 58%.
- Michal Jordan had a team high three blocked shots.
- After it seemed he was moving forward in recent games, Alexander Semin perhaps took a step back in this one and did not have a shot on goal while leading the team with three giveaways.
- Justin Faulk had a team high 22:10 of ice time.