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Hurricanes vs Predators Game Recap: Ward leads Canes to shootout victory

Cam Ward shut the Nashville Predators down in the shootout helping the Canes to get their first overtime win this year.

John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes (3-4-3) finally won a game in overtime. Behind a stellar performance from Cam Ward and a Jaccob Slavin third round winner in the skills contest, the Canes have officially broken the OT curse plaguing the team by defeating the Nashville Predators (3-5-3) Saturday night by a 3-2 score.

James Neal got Nashville on the board first with a breakaway goal, his second of the season, at 9:44 in the first period in front of a sellout crowd of 17,113 at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators had many breakaway or partial breakaway opportunities throughout the game, but only Neal’s breakaway was able to beat Cam Ward, who made 25 saves on 27 shots on goal.

After a stagnant first, Jeff Skinner tied the game at 1-1 with his sixth goal on the young season. The red hot Skinner connected on an unassisted “Skin-o-rama” from the top of the circles and gave the Hurricanes brief life.

Later in the period at 17:05, Matt Irwin gave the Preds a 2-1 lead when he snuck a puck past Ward through a screen. Not to be outdone on scoring by defensemen, Ron Hainsey tied the game at 2-2 after a beautiful pass from Elias Lindholm at 8:22 off the third period. This was the Hurricanes’ first shorthanded goal of the season and Hainsey’s first-ever shorty in more than 800 career NHL games played.

The game became a fast paced back and forth contest until the end of regulation with both teams having multiple great chances to score. In overtime the Canes were pushed back on their own feet but managed to create a few decent chances. Ward said no many times throughout the latter part of overtime, which helped get the Canes to the shootout.

In the shootout, Ward shut down all 3 shooters for Nashville. Jeff Skinner and Teuvo Terravinen were denied by Pekka Rine but Jaccob Slavin waited out the Finish goaltender to net the game winner.

These two teams will meet again on March 18th at PNC Arena. The Hurricanes will be back in action Sunday in the second half of a back to back when they take on the New Jersey Devils at 6pm at PNC Arena.

Rank the performances

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