Game Recap

Predators 2, Hurricanes 1, SO

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:48 AM

Associated Press

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Predators 2, Hurricanes 1, SO
Nashville Predators 2, Carolina Hurricanes 1

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -Martin Erat and the Nashville Predators are accumulating shootout games in a hurry. Of course, the way regulation was going, it's been a welcome change.

Erat and Cal O'Reilly scored in Nashville's third shootout win in the past five games, leading the Predators to a 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.

"Whatever it takes," coach Barry Trotz said.

Nashville has won four of five overall. The surge follows a five-game losing streak, when each game ended in regulation.

"It wasn't one thing," Trotz said. "We got away a little bit from the defensive game we like to play, and the puck was getting in the back of our net. We weren't playing that poorly. Sometimes, teams go through that. They were working hard, but it was not coming easy."

After O'Reilly matched Carolina's Jeff Skinner in the first round of the shootout, each team failed on its second opportunity. Patrick O'Sullivan missed for the Hurricanes, setting up Erat's winner against goaltender Cam Ward.

"I knew what I was going to do before I got on the ice," Erat said. "Ward was putting the blocker down, and I just had to go to the forehand."

It was the second consecutive shootout loss for Carolina in as many nights after a 5-4 setback at Pittsburgh.

"We did the best we could with what we had in the tank," Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said. "There was a lot of ugliness in the game - plays that couldn't be completed - there was no ease to it, but I thought we accepted it and fought it."

Surprisingly, this one featured very little scoring. It's unlikely any team has been as inconsistent as the Hurricanes, who have scored goals in bunches and given them up nearly as frequently. In the previous eight games, three of their victories have been 7-2, 7-1 and 7-1. They also have losses by big margins - 7-4, 8-1 and 7-2 - to complete the odd rotation of games.

"This was our third game in four nights," Ward said. "So the pace was pretty slow at the beginning of the game. That's kind of the style they wanted to play."

Carolina scored first when Joni Pitkanen skated in and sent a centering pass from the right circle toward Erik Cole. The puck bounced off the stick of Nashville defenseman Shane O'Brien and skittered through goaltender Pekka Rinne midway through the first period.

Given the Hurricanes' offensive bursts of late, it figured to be the first of many. But Nashville struck next.

A poor Carolina clearing effort left the puck with Jordin Tootoo near the blue line. With four Hurricanes closing in, he found teammate Jerred Smithson all alone in front of the net. He patiently beat Cam Ward with a wrister to tie it at 1.

"Smithson's line really did a good job," Trotz said. "I think they were dominant out there. They spent a lot of time in the opponent's end and they got a big goal. They really deserved that."

Rinne finished with 21 saves while Ward had 26 stops.

NOTES: Nashville plays at Columbus on Monday to complete a four-game road trip.

scoring summary
1st Period
Joni Pitkanen (2) ASST: Jeff Skinner (10), Tuomo Ruutu (8)
1 - 0 CAR
2nd Period
Jerred Smithson (1) ASST: Jordin Tootoo (6), Joel Ward (4)
1 - 1 Tie
3rd Period
OT Period
1J. SkinnerC. O'Reilly
2J. JokinenM. Goc
3P. O'SullivanM. Erat
penalty summary
1st Period
Shea Weber  Tripping against  Patrick Dwyer
2nd Period
Francis Bouillon  Tripping against  Tuomo Ruutu
Sergei Samsonov  Interference against  J-P Dumont
3rd Period
Jordin Tootoo  Too many men/ice - bench
Tim Gleason  Cross checking against  Patric Hornqvist
Joni Pitkanen  Hooking against  Francis Bouillon
OT Period
goalie stats
Pekka Rinne
SA: 22TOI: 64:54
Saves: 21EV: 20 - 21
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 1
SV%: .955SH: 0 - 0
Cam Ward
Cam Ward
SA: 27TOI: 64:50
Saves: 26EV: 23 - 24
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 1
SV%: .963SH: 2 - 2 is the official Web site of the Nashville Predators and are trademarks of the Nashville Predators.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Nashville Predators and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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