|CAR||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||0|
|NSH||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
The goaltenders were the story of the night, with Mason earning first star recognition and Carolina's Cam Ward picking up the game's third star, as the two teams combined for 65 shots, several from prime scoring locations on the ice or through heavy player traffic in front of the net.
Though he didn't earn an assist on the play, Ryan Suter triggered the game's lone goal at the 11:59 mark of the third period. Suter made a tremendous 160-foot pass from behind his own net, around the bench-side board to Alexander Radulov at the offensive blueline. The pass sprung Nashville on the three-on-one. Radulov snapped a pass to Jason Arnott streaking down the opposite wing. Arnott carried the play to the bottom of the faceoff circle before finding J.P. Dumont at the far post for the tap-in, Dumont's 19th goal of the season.
|Highlights: Predators 1, Hurricanes 0|
Nashville's defense clamped down from there. In the game's waning seconds, Mason stopped Glen Wesley's drive from the left wing and then as the play carried behind the net, Ryan Suter chipped the rebound out of the zone with 20 seconds remaining. The Hurricanes dumped the puck back in the zone, but Greg Zanon iced the puck with 2.6 seconds and Carolina was unable to control the final faceoff.
The Predators had some of their best scoring chances late in the first period. A heavy forecheck created a turnover inside the offensive zone to Radek Bonk in the high slot. Bonk's snap shot was saved and Martin Erat drew a power-play opportunity when he corralled the rebound at the side of the net. On the ensuing power-play, Erat nearly took off on a breakaway, but inadvertently got tangled up with the referee at the offensive blue line and was unable to control the outlet pass.
Ward may have made his best save of the night to rob Rich Peverly with 4:00 remaining in the first period. With the puck loose in the crease, Ward had to go down to cover the lower half of the net. The puck squirted to Peverley at the far post, but Ward somehow extended his right leg just enough to deflect Peverley's attempt.
With the win the Predators moved into a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference, one point behind sixth place Calgary and two points behind fifth place Anaheim ... Nashville is 10-3-3 since January 1, including 7-1-1 at home ... The Predators improved to 5-2-0 vs. Eastern Conference teams this season, including 3-0-0 vs. teams from the Southeast Division ... Nashville is 24-3-2 this season when scoring first ... This was the Predators eighth shutout of the season and fifth in the past 17 games ... Tonight's game marked the third consecutive 30-save performance for a Predators goaltender (Mason 31 vs. Columbus on Jan. 31, Ellis 35 vs. Phoenix on Feb. 2 , Mason 31 tonight) ... Arnott extended his scoring streak to nine consecutive games (3 goals, 7 assists), tying his career-long originally set Nov. 4 - 20, 1995 while a member of the Edmonton Oilers ... Radulov extended his point scoring streak to a career-long seven consecutive games (7 goals, 2 assists).
Head Coach Barry Trotz
On having that one goal being able to hold up the whole time for the win… "It did and I thought we would need 10 after the first period. Once we settled down I thought both goaltenders played well and it seemed like there weren’t going to be many goals for either team. Our defense worked not as a group of five tonight, but as a team and stepped up and really kicked it up for the last five minutes. "
On even before the first goal, Predators had better scoring position… "I think the first three or four minutes it didn’t feel that way but after that we got our legs back under us we were able to hang on. I thought we were coming with a little more push than they were in the end."
On how Predators goalies have been performing… "Mason has been good but both of our goalies have been 3-1-1 in their last five games each. There’s a nice rotation there and both goalies are playing very well."
On second period when Carolina had possession for three minutes… "That was it? It felt like a lot longer. They had the good zone time but they really didn’t have the scoring chances that we did. Our guys defended and did the best they could to prevent them from having open shots. When they’re out there for two minutes they get a little tired but they had good legs and were able to hang on. I thought a key role in our win was when Mason had a key save when the puck had a funky bounce off the Zamboni door and he followed it and made a successful stop."
Goaltender Chris Mason
On how he felt tonight… “I felt really good today. I was seeing the puck well and the guys let me see it. We contained rebounds and eliminated second chances.”
On the intensity of the play… “They were coming pretty hard. They have a lot of skill and a lot of speed. They were good down low in our end, but our guys did a great job. We had a couple of rough shifts there at the beginning. We were kind of slow getting out of the gate. But for the most part we played a good solid game.”
On being a “brick wall” tonight… “I need to start playing like that every night and give this team a chance to win. The guys came up with a huge goal. Luckily one was enough. Arnott made a great play over to J.P. and that was all we needed.
Forward Jason Arnott
On the style of play tonight… “Tonight we just kept playing our system just waited for them to break down. When they did, we capitalized on it.”
On his teammates… “We just kept playing and playing hard. They’ve got a quick team over there and they never stop working. There’s a lot of heart and character over there. They played well the whole game and they came out with a huge win for us tonight.”
“The guys held strong and Mason played unbelievable on that shift. You see shifts like that and they are doing everything possible to keep the puck out of the net, it gives you motivation to go out there and play just as good the next shift.”
Forward J.P. Dumont
On his goal… “I’m going to start another streak today. That was a great way to start it. It was a great play. Radulov made a simple play. It all started with Suter. We were pretty much as three-man breakaway. It was a great play, a great pass from Rads. After that it was a backhand pass from Arnott, hit the post and went in. It was a big goal but it all started defensively. That’s the kind of hockey we are going to have to play.”
|J-P Dumont (19) ASST: Jason Arnott (29), Alexander Radulov (21)|
1 - 0 NSH
|Ryan Suter Holding against Mike Commodore|
|Darcy Hordichuk Fighting (maj) against Wade Brookbank|
|Wade Brookbank Fighting (maj) against Darcy Hordichuk|
|Bret Hedican Hooking against Martin Erat|
|Ryan Suter Hooking against Cory Stillman|
|Eric Staal Hi-sticking against Dan Hamhuis|
|Martin Erat Interference against Scott Walker|
|Rod Brind'Amour Hooking against Vernon Fiddler|
|SA: 34||TOI: 59:11|
|Saves: 33||EV: 30 - 31|
|PIM: 0||PP: 3 - 3|
|SV%: .971||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 31||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 31||EV: 28 - 28|
|PIM: 0||PP: 2 - 2|
|SV%: 1.000||SH: 1 - 1|