Game Recap

Fiddler, Ward Score For Preds

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:48 AM

Jay Levin - Nashville Predators

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Fiddler, Ward Score For Preds
Carolina Hurricanes 4, Nashville Predators 2
Vernon Fiddler and Joel Ward netted goals for the Predators and Shea Weber extended his scoring streak to three games in Thursday night's preseason, a 4-2 Predators loss at Sommet Center to the Carolina Hurricanes.

With Jason Arnott making his preseason debut, the line of Arnott-JP Dumont-Patric Hornqvist combined for 16 shots on goal. Despite being held off the scoresheet, the trio was the most effictive unit for the Predators, creating at least at least a half dozen high quality scoring opportunities. Including a couple of opportunities to tie the score early in the third period. The line created a flurry in front of the Carolina net, but were unable to net the equalizer. The Hurricanes countered with a long outlet pass to Eric Staal for a clear one-on-one breakaway with Dan Ellis. Ellis stopped the first shot and then made a sprawling toe save on the rebound chance. The Predators controlled the rebound and reversed the ice with Dumont and Hornqvist rushing down on a two-on-one, but Dumont was unable to control a bouncing puck on the return of the give-and-go from Hornqvist.

Ville Koistinen also made his preseason debut, picking up an assist in 20:45 of ice time.

Carolina scored twice in the game’s opening three minutes, the first on a redirection by Brandon Sutter from Anton Babchuk’s shot from the point followed by Ryan Bayda’s shorthanded goal 0:54 later.

The Hurricanes pushed the lead to 3-0 with a power-play tally 1:11 into the second period. Babchuk’s shot from the point missed wide to the nearside, but the rebound rocketed off the endboards to Eric Staal at the post for the tap-in.

Nashville cut into the deficit midway through the middle frame on Joel Ward’s first goal of the preseason. Shea Weber’s lead pass sprung Ward on a partial breakaway opportunity. Ward deked and snapped a shot five-hole to make the score 3-1.

The Preds nearly added a second goal with under seven minutes remaining in the period when the checking line combination of Antti Pihlstrom and Jerred Smithson worked the puck down low. Pihlstrom’s jab attempt carried just wide of the vacated part of the net.

Nashville netted its second goal of the game 1:59 into the third period with a Vern Fiddler shot from the left wing, Fiddler’s first goal of the preseason.

Staal would close out the scoring at the 19:19 mark with an empty net tally.

Post-Game Quotes
Head Coach Barry Trotz
Regarding the team’s play throughout the game…
“It was one of those games where as the game went on they got better. I thought we came out and had a real slow start – not the start you want. I thought in the second period we were much better. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the good first period so we dug ourselves a hole. You know, bottom line is you have to play the strong three periods and tomorrow start off how we played in the third period. We had guys with slow decisions, not real strong on the wall; a little bit of indecision. Some guys were not having good communication or taking responsibility. Some good, some bad; mixed reviews today.”

Regarding the first line…
“They had 16 shots between the three of them. They were slow out of the box, but I think it showed that Arnie hasn’t played a bit but as he played more he started coming around; that and the guys that had been out a while. Ville, I thought, played pretty well tonight for the most part. It was his first game he did some good things. We had some big blunders, some of their passes were errant. And they weren’t errant to nobody they were errant to their sticks.”

On Joel Ward
“He had a very good game. He’s a very consistent player. The one thing that we say Joel has done from day one is he’s been committed to all his details; he has a good stick and knows the game. He’s been working and blocking shots. He’s been doing real well on the penalty kill. You know, I have no complaints. He’s a guy that’s trying to earn a spot on this team and he’s doing a decent job right now.”

Moving Ward to a different line in the 3rd period…
“Radek Bonk strained his hip flexor so we ended up with 11 forward instead of 12 which made us scramble the lines up a little bit. There’s always a skate problem or something like that. Just have to keep the pace high and keep everyone involved. I sort of had the scrabble machine going tonight.”

Goaltender Dan Ellis
On the start of the game…
“It did not go as well as I would liked. The first just banked off a knee pad, the second one was just a bad goal. You’ve got to stop those ones coming down the wing. But I felt like our entire team settled in and finished strong. We did not get the result we wanted but it was a strong step forward.”

On his save on Staal’s breakaway…
“I saw he was posted up and wide open. He came down but did not pose any type of deke situation. I knew he was shooting right away. He shot, I tried to make the save, but he is big, long and lanky, and he got his rebound. I was able to get across the second one. That was about it.”

Forward Ryan Jones
On the pressure of trying to make the roster…
“I try not to think about it. The more you think about it, the more stress you get. The tighter you grip your stick out there. I do the best to try to block it but it is always in the back of your mind.”

On focus of last two preseason games…
“It won’t be anything I have not done already. I am just going to try and play my game. Like I said before, I am going to try and get the puck down low. I am trying to show I can do that on a consistent basis.”

Forward Joel Ward
On his goal…
“We were coming off a line change and I just saw a seam up the middle. Weber threw a great pass up the middle and I was fortunate to put it through the goalie.”

On 3rd period line change…
“We were down by a couple, so we wanted to shake things up a bit. Some guys were playing pretty well. We wanted to generate some more offense. We were down so you try and throw a few things out there and mix it up. We came close but just came up short.”

scoring summary
1st Period
2nd Period
3rd Period
penalty summary
1st Period
2nd Period
3rd Period
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