RALEIGH — The Carolina Hurricanes iced a fairly veteran-heavy lineup for game five of their six-game preseason slate on Friday night against the Nashville Predators, but it was far from a clean or perfect game.
After scoring the first goal, Carolina went onto to fall to the Predators by a final score of 2-1 in overtime.
It was, by and large, a slow-paced game with Carolina slightly edging out Nashville in terms of generated offense. Carolina’s best forward trio, Jordan Staal’s line with Teuvo Teravainen and Nino Niederreiter on the wings, meshed well and came up with a number of quality scoring chances, one of which they capitalized on.
19 seconds into the first shift of the second period, Staal carried the puck in on a two-on-one rush and beat Juuse Saros to spring Carolina to a 1-0 lead.
He makes it look WAY too easy pic.twitter.com/cS4TqXDzhs— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) September 28, 2019
Nashville went on to tie the game in the early stages of the third period. Anthony Richard stormed in on a breakaway from the right wing and out-waited James Reimer. Reimer came in for the third period after Petr Mrazek pitched two shutout periods in net, stopping all 19 shots he faced.
Mrazek will enter the preseason finale with a perfect preseason track record, having not allowed a goal as of yet, albeit in limited action.
Reimer did settle in through the rest of the third period, stopping the next nine shots he faced through the end of regulation and into the overtime period, where the game advanced with a score of 1-1.
Both teams had their opportunities in overtime. Carolina had a handful of odd-man rushes, but fumbled pucks and timely saves from Juuse Saros stood between them and a game-deciding goal.
Eventually, the game-winner did come - in deja vu fashion. Ryan Johansen snuck one through Reimer and instantly skated off the ice and into the Preds’ locker room. It was exactly how last season’s preseason game between the clubs in Raleigh ended. Johansen notched the game-winner in overtime (that time, the final score was 5-4), and immediately left the ice.
The encore was just as masterful as the original.
With the loss, the Hurricanes dropped to 2-2-1 on the preseason. They’ve dropped three consecutive decisions, but they feel like they’re inching closer to what the final product should look like. It certainly looked like a preseason game. There was plenty of rust and plenty of missed opportunities.
In his debut in a Hurricanes uniform, Joel Edmundson looked pretty sharp. He got down and blocked a few shots, including one right to the ankle on the penalty kill. He limped for a few moments afterwards, but he ended up being healthy enough to finish the game.
Up next for Carolina: their final preseason game of 2019 - a home game on Sunday (including the Caniac Carnival and free admission into the game) against the Washington Capitals. It’ll be Carolina’s second date with Washington this preseason. The Caps took the first matchup by a final score of 3-2.