Preds take Home Opener 2-1 over Canes

Source: Sanford Myers/Getty Images

Ah, it’s good to be back, isn’t it? The Predators opened the 2015-16 at home last night against the Carolina Hurricanes and picked up the first of many (knock on wood) wins of this young season. Despite the win, the Predators looked a little less “on fire” during the second and third periods, which allowed the Hurricanes to make a comeback in shots-on-goal and in score. Here are some highlights from last night’s opener:

First Period:

  • Just fifty-seven seconds into the match, Ryan Ellis took a hi-stick to the face from Jordan Staal, resulting in a powerplay opportunity for Nashville.

  • In a déjà vu moment from last season, Craig Smith opened the season with a powerplay goal to put Nashville up 2-0 at 2:23.

  • About twelve minutes later, rookie Viktor Arvidsson notched his first NHL-career goal at 17:05 to put Nashville up 2-0. The fact that Arvidsson could not contain his excitement afterwards makes me happy.

  • Nashville would dominate the first period with 14 SOG compared to Carolina’s five.

Second Period:

  • No goals, but the pace was more like molasses for Nashville as the air was let out of the tires a bit. Carolina put on the pressure, but the Predators were able to maintain the 2-0 lead.

Third Period:

  • Again, the Hurricanes picked up the pace where the Predators left off and added even more pressure.
  • Eric Staal was able to inch one past Pekka Rinne at 18:20 with the extra man on the attack.
  • The last minute and a half was intense, but Nashville managed to keep Carolina from tying the game.

Overall, the Predators looked good during their season opener, but the “cooling of the jets” during the second and third periods could be worrisome. The defense stood tall against the Hurricanes and held them back, but I don’t know if Nashville could hold back a stronger team. The Oilers will take advantage of this easily on Saturday if the Predators don’t address it. The penalty kill looked fabulous last night and the powerplay is good as well. Improvements could be had here and there, but overall, I was pleased.

The Predators are back at it tomorrow at 6PM as they welcome in the Edmonton Oilers. The first 10,000 fans wearing gold will get a golden foam helmet! Whoop!

Predators announce 2015-16 Home Opener

Source: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

Source: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

Though the full 2015-16 schedule will be announced tomorrow, the Predators gave us a little sample of what’s to come this upcoming season with the release of the home opener. Scheduled for October 8th, the Predators will welcome in the Carolina Hurricanes. Check back with us tomorrow when the full schedule is release and, until then, go Preds!

Gritty Third Period leads to NSH Victory over CAR

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America

A gritty third period indeed. After a lackluster performance within the first and second periods, the outcome of the game in favor of Nashville looked pretty bleak going into the third period. Carolina, who were 12-24-4, were already up by one on Nashville and, even though that should be nothing for a team that is 25-9-4 should be concerned with, the Predators have a lengthy record of flunking against the Hurricanes.

SCRATCHES:

  • James Neal Anton Volchenkov

First Period:

  • The Hurricanes jumped on the board with a powerplay goal at 17:25 from Eric Staal, his eleventh of the season for Carolina.
  • Carolina managed to notch twelve shots on net, while Nashville desperately hunted for it, only tallying seven shots on net.

Second Period:

  • The second period brought zero luck to either contender on the side of goals.
  • Nashville came out with a bit more gusto this period, taking twelve shots to the net compared to Carolina’s five.

Third Period:

  • Peter Laviolette must have sacrificed a rookie during the second intermission because the Predators finally hit the ice with some power in the third.
  • Ryan Ellis (5) put the team on the board at 4:43 with a tricky slip behind Cam Ward’s back. Viktor Stalberg picked up his second assist for the season – his first one gained just last Saturday against the Kings.
  • Carolina would regain the lead at 8:14 with a powerplay goal from Justin Faulk, their second of the night.
  • A little over two minutes later, Mike Fisher would tie it once again for his sixth goal of the season. Colin Wilson (12) and Filip Forsberg (24) tally the assists.
  • Noteworthy: With his 24th assist, Filip Forsberg has now surpassed Alexander Radulov’s Franchise Rookie Record of 37 points; Forsberg leads rookies in the league with 38 points, 14 goals, 24 assists, and 23 plus-minus points. If he isn’t a Calder contender, I will have no reason to doubt the NHL just hates Nashville.
    radulov
  • Roman Josi would nail the GWG at 15:17 for his seventh goal of the season, bringing Nashville back from a dismal first and second periods. Viktor Stalberg (3) and Eric Nystrom (4) would nab the assists.

As the saying goes, “They don’t ask ‘how’ you won, but ‘if’ you won. Gritty wins in regulation still give you the two points.” — Someone says that. And, as news on the standings goes, Chicago (54) was blanked by the Colorado Avalanche last night, pushing Nashville (56) up two points. Though the Predators were already at the top of the Central Division, it’s still nice to push forward even farther from the Blackhawks. It is important to note that the Predators are also just two points behind the Anaheim Ducks for first in the Western Conference.

The 18-15-6 Dallas Stars roll into town on Thursday, then Nashville is off to St. Paul to visit Ryan Suter and the 18-15-5 Minnesota Wild.

Nashville Falls 2-1 in Carolina

Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

The time has come for Nashville to visit the state to the right (…North Carolina) and take on the 7-13-3 Carolina Hurricanes. Interestingly enough, the ‘Canes collected their most recent loss to a team Nashville is currently tied first in the league with (A.K.A. the Pittsburgh Penguins). Ahh, but that doesn’t mean the Hurricanes are just going to bow down to Nashville and allow them to continue their hot streak – heck no; they’ve got the same finish line as the rest of the league. So, with that, let’s get to some highlights:

First Period:

  • Well, not too much action in the first period, except for a tip-in goal from Jeff Skinner (6) at 18:59, giving Carolina a late first period lead.
  • No penalties for either teams and Nashville managed to get eight shots on goal, while the Hurricanes tallied six.

Second Period:

  • No goals, no penalties, and just ten shots for Nashville and thirteen for Carolina.

Third Period:

  • Just 55 seconds into the third, Victor Rask (4) sent a slapshot past Pekka Rinne to put the ‘Canes up 2-0 over Nashville.
  • Mike Ribeiro makes certain Nashville doesn’t leave with a goose egg thanks to a backhander past Cam Ward. Roman Josi (10) nabbed the assist on Ribeiro’s 7th goal of the season.

Unfortunately, Nashville’s four-game winning streak came to an end in Carolina as the Preds fall 2-1 to the Hurricanes. The Predators need to brush it off fast as the St. Louis Blues will be in town on Thursday night.