Super Swedish sophomore Patric Hornqvist continued his hot play of late with two goals and an assist tonight to lead the Nashville Predators to a 4-2 victory over Carolina, giving him 15 points (10 goals, 5 assists) in his last 12 games. Pekka Rinne stopped 25 of 27 Hurricanes shots to earn the win.
Click the photo at right for the gallery, and follow after the jump for the video highlights, advanced stats, and reaction...
Despite the score, this was a more competitive game than one might think. The Hurricanes came ready to play, and delivered some of the Preds' own medicine to them at various points. They took advantage of turnovers and rebound opportunities early and often (see both their goals in the highlights above), and even when Nashville stretched out a two-goal lead, they always seemed capable of coming back to tie it up.
It was also an odd game in terms of penalties; Hornqvist took two in the first period alone, and Carolina really put themselves in a deep hole by giving Nashville 7 power play opportunities, the last of which a 5-minute major which came after defenseman Andrew Alberts boarded Steve Sullivan, who lay prone on the ice for quite a while before slowly going off to the dressing room with assistance.
Hornqvist cashed in twice on those man-advantage chances, first banging home the rebound of a Shea Weber shot as it came off the glass, the second off a nice feed from J.P. Dumont, that Hornqvist slammed home. He also added a nice setup for Sully, drawing the attention of the Carolina defense to him before slipping the puck through to Sully in the slot, who fired a quick one-timer up high over Cam Ward for the third Preds goal.
All that, and he had a shift in the final minutes where he maintained possession of the puck deep in the Carolina zone despite getting checked into the boards, and having to work his way through three different defenders. Put simply, this was Hornqvist's night.
J.P. Dumont also scored shorthanded, reportedly his first career shorthanded goal in the regular season. Folks might remember a dandy SH goal he scored in the 2007 playoffs against San Jose, though.
All in all it was a pretty good outcome for Nashville. They got the win, but I'm sure Barry Trotz will have plenty to say about some of the turnovers that were made - after all, only some of them turned into goals against, and this game could have easily swung the other way during the first two periods.
The Preds current home stand concludes Saturday when the Anaheim Ducks come to town.
For discounted tickets to Saturday's date against the Anaheim Ducks, or any Nashville Predators home game, you can follow this link and use the special offer code "PREDS".
Taking a look at the advanced stats, what a game turned in tonight by Kevin Klein - he got some shots on net, and the team totals while he was on the ice were hugely impressive. All that, and he took a nasty high-stick to the face, too. Besides these numbers, he also did a solid job taking the body in the defensive zone on more than one occasion, to help Nashville control the puck and get the play moving up-ice.
|Even Strength||Individual Totals||Team Totals While Player Is On Ice|
|Player||Pos||EV TOI||Shots On Goal||Shts Blkd||Missed Shts||Blocks||SOG For||SOG Ag||SOG +/-||Tot SF||Tot SA||Corsi|
|J P Dumont||R||11:19||1||2||0||1||4||5||-1||11||11||0|