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Predators 3, Hurricanes 2: The Kids Come Back, and Come Back Again

The Nashville Predators took their preseason record to 3-1 with a come-from-behind victory at Carolina tonight, coming back twice from one-goal deficits to earn the win. It was an impressive result for a team that was without most of its NHL regulars, while the Hurricanes went with their major stars like Eric Staal, Jeff Skinner, Joni Pitkanen, and Cam Ward.

Follow after the jump for some of the details from tonight, and an updated Predators scoring table...

UPDATE: Post-game commentary has been shared by Carolina's PR staff, click each name for their sound bite...

Alexei Ponikarovsky (mp3)

Jeff Skinner (mp3)

Ryan Murphy (mp3)

Paul Maurice (mp3)

...and now, back to your regularly-scheduled recap!

Jeremy Smith gave up one goal on 9 shots, a score 31 seconds into the game by Alexei Ponikarovsky, who joined Carolina this summer as a free agent. David Legwand tied things up with a goal late in the 2nd period (off assists by Patric Hornqvist and Juuso Puustinen). Smith yielded to Anders Lindback after the 1st period, who then stopped 19 of 20 shots fired his way.

It was Ponikarovsky scoring again early in the third, after just 17 seconds to put Carolina up 2-1. That left things up to the dynamic duo of Craig Smith and Gabriel Bourque, who helped spark a play to tie the game a few minutes later. Bourque made an aggressive play to chip the puck deep into the offensive end, where Smith did the dirty work to gain possession in the corner and feed Bourque for a shot from the slot. Justin Peters, who came in to play goal in relief of Cam Ward to start the 3rd, made the save, but Jack Hillen had snuck down to the weak side and banged home an easy rebound opportunity to make it 2-2 with 14:37 left.

The Preds kept the pressure coming, and took the lead on a Chris Mueller score 97 seconds later, driving the net and stuffing his own rebound past Peters. The goal gave Mueller a 3-game scoring streak and the team scoring lead.

From there, Lindback was able to hold off the Hurricanes the rest of the way, and the Preds stole out of town with the win. They'll host the Winnipeg Jets tomorrow in their preseason home opener.

And now, your updated Nashville Predators scoring leaders...

Player

Goals

Assists

Points

Chris Mueller

3

1

4

Colin Wilson

2

2

4

Sergei Kostitsyn

3

3

Niclas Bergfors

3

3

Jonathon Blum

1

1

2

Blake Geoffrion

1

1

2

Matt Halischuk

2

2

Jordin Tootoo

2

2

Ryan Thang

1

1

Jack Hillen

1

1

Kyle Wilson

1

1

David Legwand

1

1

Jani Lajunen

1

1

Teemu Laakso

1

1

Victor Bartley

1

1

Tyler Sloan

1

1

Taylor Beck

1

1

Shea Weber

1

1

Patric Hornqvist

1

1

Juuso Puustinen

1

1

Gabriel Bourque

1

1

Craig Smith

1

1