|NSH||0||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|CAR||0||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
GAME: Nashville Predators (12-10-1-0) at Carolina Hurricanes (7-10-7-0).TIME: Wednesday, 7 p.m. EST.
There hasn't been much success in the short history of the Nashville Predators.
This could be the season that begins to change that.
Nashville looks to win its franchise-record fifth straight game when it opens a three-game trip against the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Predators have never made the playoffs or even had a winning season in five years since joining the NHL in 1998. They entered this season with a 145-199-49-17 all-time record.
Nashville appeared headed for another long season after winning just three of its first 12 games (3-8-1), but has since won eight of 10, including four in a row.
Vladimir Orzsagh figured in all four goals with his first career hat trick and an assist Saturday, leading the Predators to a 4-1 victory over visiting Buffalo.
"It's very special," Orzsagh said. "I will remember this day forever. There's no doubt about it. I'm just happy. I couldn't be any happier now."
Denis Arkhipov also scored and Tomas Vokoun stopped 22 shots for Nashville, which is two games above .500 for the first time this late in a season. The current four-game streak is the fifth in team history, accomplished most recently from Feb. 23-March 1.
Orszagh said the Predators know it's too early to be thinking too far ahead.
"I would say this is probably tip of iceberg right now," he said. "We've got a long way to go."
Vokoun has been superb of late, winning five straight starts while allowing just nine goals. He has also been helped by a penalty-killing unit that has been perfect in 17 straight opportunities.
The Hurricanes also won their last game with the help of a hat trick -- theirs coming from Radim Vrbata in Saturday's 4-3 victory over Pittsburgh.
Vrbata's second career hat trick came after he scored just three goals in his first 23 games this season.
"When you get some points or goals, you feel a little better and you don't squeeze your stick so much," Vrbata said. "It helps."
Carolina will look to build some momentum with their next two games at home before starting a four-game trip Saturday at Montreal. The Hurricanes have lost just one of their last eight home games (4-1-3).
|Dec 03 '03||NSH 2 at CAR 1 - OT||S. Hartnell|