clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Corsi Canes come up short in Pacioretty’s debut

Despite a 67-shot onslaught, the Carolina Hurricanes found themselves on the losing end tonight, falling 5-3 to the Nashville Predators.

NHL: JAN 05 Predators at Hurricanes Photo by Katherine Gawlik/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It was apparently throwback night at PNC Arena Thursday night as the Corsi Canes made an unexpected – and unwelcome – appearance.

Even though the focus should have been on the season debut of winger Max Pacioretty coming off of his offseason achilles surgery, the story instead revolved around the Carolina Hurricanes defaulting back to some of their old franchise habits, as they outshot the Nashville Predators 67-25, yet fell 5-3.

It was one of those games where you simply have to tip your cap to the opposition, namely Juuse Saros, whose 64 saves set a franchise record for the Predators as well as tied the record for third most saves in an NHL regular season game.

“We played a good game,” said head coach Rod Brind’Amour. “I’m not going to put any negatives on this. You put up [nearly] 70 shots… you’ve gotta win the game. We didn’t, gotta bury those, but what you’ve gotta do is give credit where credit is due. That guy played as good of a game as you’re ever gonna see. Essentially that was the difference.”

According to, Saros saved 3.09 goals above expected. He solely stole the show.

Hurricanes should be no stranger to Saros’ penchant for stealing games as this was Saros’ third career game with 50+ saves, which have all come against Carolina.

It was a game that the Hurricanes probably win 9 times out of 10, but this is hockey and that’s just how it goes.

The Canes had found a lead three separate times throughout the game, however quick responses by the Preds kept deflating the home team.

Carolina scored on an early power play in the first period as a Brett Pesce shot deflected around before finally finding its way in past Juuse Saros thanks to Paul Stast’s-knee (ba-dum-tss).

But then Nashville got a power play after a Teuvo Teravainen offensive zone trip and Filip Forsberg sniped one past Pyotr Kochetkov.

Then at the start of the second period, Pesce was the facilitator yet again, this time finding Brady Skjei cruising through the slot for the go-ahead goal.

However, Mattias Ekholm received the puck after a faceoff win, wound up, and ripped a slap shot that cleanly beat Kochetkov with no traffic in front.

Then Jordan Staal got loose and ripped one top corner on Saros. But then Cody Glass answered right back after Miakel Granlund found him alone on the backdoor.

So it was a night full of call and response that eventually Carolina wound up on the wrong end of.

Five minutes into the third period, Nashville went ahead as Mark Jankowski tipped a Ryan Johansen feed past Kochetkov and that was all she wrote. The Hurricanes pounded Nashville with wave after wave, putting up 28 shots in the third period alone, but they couldn’t break Saros again.

Colton Sissons would ice the game with an empty netter in the waning seconds.

“We gave up four goals, so we’ve gotta find ways to tighten it up,” Staal said. “I’d love to see our special teams win that battle. That would have been the difference maker tonight. We created a lot of offense obviously, but we’ve gotta play some tighter D if we want to win in this league.”

Despite the results, that kind of effort is one that Carolina has to like, because how often are you going to lose a game you put up 67 — honestly a bit of a cheesy tribute to Pacioretty in his debut — shots in.

But jokes aside, Pacioretty looked really good in the game, putting up six shots and even getting involved physically in 16:06 of ice time. He looks like he’ll be able to jump right in and go without much worry.

“I was impressed because he looked like he didn’t miss a beat,” Brind’Amour said of the winger. “He looked like he had played with us before. He knows how to prepare and knows what he’s doing out there.”

Hopefully the suffocating offense that the Hurricanes brought can stick around as the team hits the road for a 4 p.m. Saturday showdown in Columbus against the Blue Jackets.