This game had all the makings of a trap game for the Predators as their next two games would be against divisional foes St. Louis and Chicago.
It was a trap.
That speed and talent of the Hurricanes was on display in the first period as Andrej Nestrasil threw a blind pass toward the net that was redirected past Pekka Rinne to give the Canes a 1-0 lead.
The second period saw both teams trade some chances but neither could score.
The third period opened with the Predators looking to get the equalizer, but it was the Hurricanes that struck on a shot from just inside the blue line by Victor Rask that beat Rinne to make it 2-0 Hurricanes just 55 seconds into the period.
Mike Ribeiro made it a 2-1 game at 15:14 of the third period as he backhanded a shot past a sprawling Cam Ward. This was Ribeiro's 7th goal of the season and he did a good job or corralling a pass from Roman Josi to set up the goal.
The Predators got their first power play of the game with one minute remaining in regulation. With Rinne pulled, the Predators were skating 6 on 4.
Unfortunately, the power play for the Predators once again drew blanks and the Predators dropped the game by the final score of 2-1.
- Jeff Skinner's first period goal was amazing. One handed redirect that was impossible for Rinne to stop. Skinner continues to cause the Preds trouble. He had a hat trick in their last meeting in Nashville last season.
- The Predators had some good chances throughout the game, but it seemed that the team was looking for the perfect pass and the pretty goal. Sometimes you have to muck and grind and score from the hard areas.
- As much as the Hurricanes stymied the Predators offensively, I like the fact that the team continued to press and attack and create some scoring chances.
- Cam Ward played a very good game for the Hurricanes, stopping 32 of 33 shots and making some very good saves. The Predators had some good chances but just could not bury the tying goal.
- The Predators out shot the Hurricanes 33-25 and 15-6 in the third period.
The Predators need to get back to playing a full 60 minutes.
It starts Thursday night against St. Louis.
My three stars:
1. Cam Ward
2. Jeff Skinner
3. Mike Ribeiro