After playing seven straight against the other top teams in the division, it was apparent that the Canes were playing a team that has been struggling of late, but the long grind seemed to catch the Hurricanes near the tail end of the game.
At the start, the Hurricanes did not seem like a team that had played five games in seven days, including being on the tail end of a back-to-back that saw the team not arrive until early in the morning, as the team came flying out of the gate.
Even an early penalty kill couldn’t swing the momentum of the game for the Predators as the Hurricanes had several breakaway opportunities and before long, the Canes were on the board.
It was almost a replay of the game-winning goal from the previous night, but this time, featuring a twist. With offsetting penalties leaving each team to play 4-on-4, it was Martin Necas this time with a brilliant, no-look, spinning pass right to Sebastian Aho’s tape for the hammer home.
Necas spins, Aho scores!— Canes Country (@CanesCountry) March 3, 2021
Martin Necas delivers a perfect pass to Sebastian Aho and the Hurricanes take a 1-0 lead in Nashville! pic.twitter.com/FRu3YrV54t
And a few minutes later, the Canes got a power play chance of their own and they needed only six seconds of it to extend the lead.
Jordan Staal won the faceoff back to Dougie Hamilton, who walked the line, waited for his chance and sent the puck on net where Vincent Trocheck smoothly tipped it past Juuse Saros.
Trocheck can't stop and Trocheck won't stop.— Canes Country (@CanesCountry) March 3, 2021
Dougie Hamilton floats a puck on net and Vincent Trocheck is there to deflect it into the net. The Hurricanes have a 2-0 lead in Nashville! pic.twitter.com/yJuaiTjAgB
Saros would finish the period, but did not return for the second and was not on the team’s bench. The Predators put out a statement saying that his status would be updated tomorrow.
Juuse Saros is out for the game. Further updates will come tomorrow.— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) March 3, 2021
But a change in net didn’t change the fates for Nashville and another Carolina Hurricane found their first career NHL goal.
Hounding around in the slot, Steven Lorentz made no mistake with picking his corner as he roofed a loose puck into the top-right of the net.
STEVEN LORENTZ FIRST NHL GOAL ALERT— Canes Country (@CanesCountry) March 3, 2021
Lorentz gets to the puck and fires it over the shoulder of Pekka Rinne to give the Hurricanes a 3-0 lead in Nashville! pic.twitter.com/S1MLgO1fZz
Even though we’ve seen a few nominations for celly of the year in just the past two games alone, Lorentz might have shot up the rankings with his emphatic reaction.
It was all smiles from him and his teammates as the seventh round pick, who worked his way through the organization, finally got his first.
The Predators didn’t go quietly though. On a mid-third period power play, it was Calle Jarnkrok beating out a Carolina defender to the net for the easy tap in on a great feed from Nick Cousins along the boards.
And only 2:17 later, it was a shot from the blueline that deflected multiple times before finding its way in.
The Predators kept pushing, but James Reimer and the Carolina defense held the fort from there and an Aho empty-netter sealed the win, 4-2.
The Hurricanes will return home to take on the Detroit Red Wings March 4 where fans will be welcomed in for the first time this season.