Hurricanes receive rare visit from Predators
PREDATORS (8-6-3) at HURRICANES (9-9-1)
Nashville 4-6-0; Carolina 4-5-1
Season series --
This is the only meeting of the season between the Hurricanes and Predators. The Predators won 4-2 in Nashville on Jan. 7, 2010, when Patric Hornqvist scored twice and J-P Dumont connected while shorthanded. The victory gave the Predators an 8-3-2 all-time mark against the Hurricanes.
Big story --
On Wednesday, Carolina General Manager Jim Rutherford acquired defenseman Ian White
and forward Brett Sutter
from the Calgary Flames in exchange for defenseman Anton Babchuk and forward Tom Kostopoulos.
Brett, the cousin of Carolina center Brandon Sutter
, played only four games this season for the Flames and hadn't suited up since Oct. 16. White had 6 points but was a minus-10 in 16 games for Calgary, but his presence in Carolina's lineup should allow rookie defenseman Jamie McBain
more time to develop as he's inserted on the third defensive pairing. In his Hurricanes' debut against the Penguins on Friday, White notched an assist with a plus-1 rating in 27:36 of ice time.
The Predators will be playing the third of a four-game road trip that concludes Monday in Columbus. It it's anything like the second game, they'll be in good shape. The Predators cooled off the red-hot Canadiens and goalie Carey Price on Thursday in a 3-0 victory. Marcel Goc scored twice, Cal O'Reilly once and Pekka Rinne earned his second shutout of the season and second straight against Montreal on 20 saves. Coach Barry Trotz always talks about playing a simple game, and that's precisely what his team did in Thursday's shutout, the team's first regulation win in nine games.
The Hurricanes snapped their two-game losing streak on Wednesday with a 7-1 victory over the Senators but dropped a 5-4 shootout decision to the Penguins on Friday. Coming off back-to-back losses to the Flyers and Canadiens by a combined 15-3 score, Carolina opened a 4-0 lead in the first period against Ottawa, including two power-play goals by Eric Staal
. The Hurricanes' penalty-killing unit has yielded seven goals in its opponents' last 17 power-play attempts and the team has been outscored 28-18 in the third period.
Who's hot --
Staal reached the 200-goal mark on his first of three goals on Wednesday against Ottawa. His first two goals came on the power-play, giving the Hurricanes' captain 77 career power-play goals. The hat trick was the franchise-leading 11th of his career. The five-point night pushed him to 450 for his career.
Injury report --
Nashville's Matthew Lombardi (concussion) is out and David Legwand (lower body), who was knocked into the boards by Montreal's Roman Hamrlik on Thursday, is day-to-day. … There are no injuries to report for Carolina.
Stat pack --
Nashville's 3-0 victory over Montreal on Thursday was the 419th victory for Trotz, tying him with Scotty Bowman for sixth on the NHL all-time list for coaches with one team. Bowman won his 419 games with Montreal. Trotz needs 12 more triumphs to tie Dick Irvin (431 with Montreal) for fifth place.
Puck drop --
Rutherford was adamant when asked whether he thought Wednesday's four-player trade was needed following two straight lopsided losses.
"Darn right. The sooner, the better," Rutherford said. "We were embarrassed in a couple of games last week. I didn't like those two results."