Game Recap

Predators 4, Hurricanes 2

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

David Droschak

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Predators 4, Hurricanes 2
Nashville Predators 4, Carolina Hurricanes 2

Paul Maurice will have plenty of teaching tools to work with after Carolina’s first preseason game Friday night.

The Canes fumbled their share of pucks and took two periods to get up to game speed, but a strong third period wasn’t enough in a 4-2 loss to the Nashville Predators.

“That was really a clear indicator of how we have to play, especially that second period with so many turnovers and play was so sloppy,” Maurice said. “In some ways it’s good because it will make my sales job a little easier about the simplicity of our game and how hard you have to play to be good. As I’ve said before, there is no play-fighting in hockey. We tested that theory early on.”

Carolina dressed a veteran lineup for its preseason opener, including the top line of Eric Staal, Erik Cole and Tuomo Ruutu, but managed just 15 shots through two periods with few scoring chances and trailed 3-1.

Staal converted early in the third on a 2-on-1 with Ray Whitney to bring the Canes to 3-2, and although Carolina managed 15 shots in the period Nashville was able to salt the game away late after Whitney took a pair of penalties over the final 6:56.

“We had kind of a fall back in our game tonight because a natural position is to try to hit home runs with passes and be very fancy. We’re not good at it and neither is any other team in this league,” Maurice said of his team’s overall play in the first two periods. “So, we tried it, and it didn’t work, and we tried to do it maybe a little closer to the right way in the third and got better results in the terms of zone possession.”

There were also plenty of mixed reviews on some of Carolina’s younger top talent, with Brandon Sutter and Zach Boychuk each coming in at minus-2.

“With every young player there was a little bit of both,” Maurice said of the good and bad.

The lone Carolina goal through 40 minutes came in the waning moments of a power play as Cole poked in a puck as he was parked near the post.

Boychuk, the 14th overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, assisted on the goal, but the 19-year-old also had a bad turnover early in the second period that gave Nashville a 2-1 lead. Boychuk sent a blind backhanded pass from the side boards to the center of the ice in his own zone and on to the stick of veteran David Legwand, who made a few nifty moves in the slot and beat Cam Ward.

“I really liked Boychuk’s energy and he was doing some good things and the puck comes around the boards and he pops it out into the middle and you just can’t do that,” Maurice said.

“I did some really good things offensively and then there were a few rookie mistakes I would like to take back," said Boychuk.  "But it’s the beginning of training camp and getting used to that pace out there, so I am definitely learning some things out there from some pretty good players.”  

The Canes couldn’t generate much on three more second-period power plays and it looked as if the Canes would head to the third down just one goal, but allowed a late score to the Predators with 1:03 left.   

NOTES: Aaron Ward took a skate-first spill into the boards near the Carolina bench in the first period and limped off, but returned moments later. … Nicolas Blanchard, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound left wing who had 132 penalty minutes at Albany last season in just 55 games, got the crowd to its feet with a fight midway through the second period. … Tim Conboy didn’t play in the third period because if a minor injury that Maurice says likely won’t keep him out of Saturday’s practice. … Joe Corvo logged the most minutes at 21:46, followed by Bryan Rodney at 20:49. … Defenseman Jay Harrison led Carolina with five of its 30 shots.

scoring summary
1st Period
PPG - Erik Cole (1) Tip-in - ASST: Zach Boychuk (1), Chad LaRose (1)
1 - 0 CAR
Mike Santorelli (1) Snap shot - ASST: Martin Erat (1), David Legwand (1)
1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
David Legwand (1) Snap shot - ASST: NONE
2 - 1 NSH
Dan Hamhuis (1) Deflected shot - ASST: Mike Santorelli (1), Martin Erat (2)
3 - 1 NSH
3rd Period
Eric Staal (1) Tip-in - ASST: Ray Whitney (1), Joe Corvo (1)
3 - 2 NSH
PPG - Peter Olvecky (1) Wrist shot - ASST: David Legwand (2), Dan Hamhuis (1)
4 - 2 NSH
penalty summary
1st Period
2nd Period
3rd Period
goalie stats