Bad luck and penalties cost Predators point in 4-3 loss to Carolina
After a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night, the Nashville Predators went to Carolina and fell 4-3 to the Hurricanes on Tuesday. Nashville drops to 26-3-3 when scoring the first goal.
Andrei Kostitsyn made his debut as a Predator but Paul Gaustad was out of the lineup with an upper-body injury. Kevin Klein and Brian McGrattan were also out of the lineup with upper-body injuries. Ryan Ellis and Brandon Yip were healthy scratches for the Predators.
Ryan Ellis was called up from Milwaukee on Monday afternoon.
Craig Smith opened scoring for the Predators. Smith beat Carolina goaltender Cam Ward, glove side, when he picked up the rebound off of a Matt Halischuk shot. Gabriel Bourque picked up the secondary assist.
In the first period, the Predators took two minor penalties. Nashville entered the game having not allowed a power play goal against them in the last seven outings, killing off all 12 penalties assessed to Nashville in that span. It was the second-longest penalty killing streak in franchise history. The longest streak was not allowing a power play goal in nine consecutive games from November 18th to December 4, 2010.
While the Predators were able to kill off the first period penalties, they were not as fortunate in the middle frame.
Carolina and Nashville exchanged goals in the second period before the Hurricanes power play took over. Jamie McBain scored his 7th goal of the season to tie the game for Carolina. Colin Wilson picked up his 15th goal of the year at the 12:31 mark of the middle frame to give the Predators a 2-1 lead. It was Nashville’s first shot on goal in the second period.
The lead would not last long.
The Predators were called for three penalties in the second period alone, and the Hurricanes were able to capitalize twice on the man advantage ending the second period with a 3-2 lead over Nashville.
Eric Staal picked up his 19th goal of the season with Andrei Kostitsyn in the penalty box for hooking. It took Staal only 12 seconds into the power play to tie the game.
With just under three minutes to play in the second period, Shea Weber went to the box for hooking. The Hurricanes scored just 11 seconds into the power play, on a goal from Tim Brent. However, when the Hurricanes entered Nashville’s zone that led to the penalty, Carolina was clearly offside. Had the whistle been blown, the penalty would not have been drawn and the Predators may not have gone into the third period down 3-2.
The Predators first power play of the game was called with just 39 seconds left in the second period. The power play carried over to the third period but it was Carolina that would capitalize early in the third period. Coming out of the penalty box, Bryan Allen took the puck from a feed by Staal as he got out of the penalty box and went in all alone scoring five-hole on Anders Lindback at 1:28 into the third period to give the Hurricanes a two-goal lead.
It was Allen’s first goal of the season.
Gabriel Bourque immediately responded to pull Nashville back to within one, less than a minute after Allen’s goal. It was Bourque’s fifth goal of the season, scored at 2:18 of the third period.
Nashville was unable to find the equalizer and dropped a 4-3 decision to the Hurricanes, the 14th place team in the Eastern Conference. The game was the fifth game for Nashville in eight nights, as well as the second game in back-to-back contests.
Lindback made 29 saves on 33 shots for Nashville.
The Predators don’t play against until Saturday night when they visit the Florida Panthers before returning home for three games next week at Bridgestone Arena.
Photo credit: AP