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Nashville Predators 2, Carolina Hurricanes 3: Preds Blow Early Lead, Fall in Shootout

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The Preds returned home from a five game roadtrip and played hosts to last place Carolina.

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no place like home. The Nashville Predators surely agree, after returning home from a 13-day, five-game road trip where they went 1-2-2.

James Neal got the scoring started in the first period on a nifty pass from Colin Wilson to get behind two Hurricane defenders and beat goalie Cam Ward. Not really much else happened in the first other than a couple of whiffs on breakaway chances.

The second period was a little more entertaining as the Predators and Hurricanes traded goals. Jeff Skinner scored his sixth of the season for Carolina, while offensive dynamo Matt Irwin scored his third goal in as many games to give the Predators the 2-1 advantage heading into the third period.

Ron Hainsey scored a short-handed goal for Carolina to tie it back up at 2-2. Three periods plus overtime wasn’t enough so this one went to the shootout.

Ward made a nice stop on Craig Smith and denied Ryan Johansen. Filip Forsberg missed the net on an errant shot and has appeared to have lost his goal scoring prowess.

Jacob Slavin ends it for Carolina, and the Predators have bad back-to-back shootout losses that they had no business losing.

Random Observations

  • There’s the James Neal we all know and love. It’s hard to believe thats only his second goal of the season.
  • The Preds had several scoring chances in the first period but just could not capitalize on any of them.
  • So many breakaways...so little goals.
  • Austin Watson is a penalty killing machine. That is all.
  • Will someone please take pity and let Filip Forsberg score a goal? It’s hard to believe he is leading the team in points (7) despite having zero goals this season.
  • Matt Irwin is clearly the glue that hold the Predators offense together.
  • Viktor Arvidsson lays it all out there every night. He is showing exactly why he was promoted to the top line.
  • Pekka Rinne has looked sharp tonight. He just needs his offense to give him some goal support. Is that a thing?
  • I’ve lost track of how many almost goals the Predators have had tonight.
  • Uh-oh, tie game. The Predators can’t seriously lose to the Hurricanes can they?
  • Oh great, overtime. Hey, thats a point though!
  • Apparently there are no penalties in overtime.
  • Arvidsson tried to will the Predators to a win tonight. Have I mentioned how much I love this kid?
  • Forsberg was SO CLOSE to scoring in overtime.
  • This team needs to do some serious soul searching.

OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Pekka Rinne - Rinne stopped 23 of the 25 shots he faced and made several great saves throughout the night. In his last four games, Rinne has stopped 100 of 108 shots for a .925 save percentage.
  2. Matt Irwin - with a goal and an assist tonight, Irwin scored goals in three consecutive games. With play like that, you may see Matt Carle on the bench a lot more.
  3. James Neal - he got the scoring started early and gave the fans at Bridgestone Arena something to cheer about after a less than stellar road trip.

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