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37 SOG
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game recap

Predators open preseason with 5-3 win over Panthers

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

NHL.com

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Predators open preseason with 5-3 win over Panthers
Nashville Predators 5, Florida Panthers 3
Sergei Kostitsyn set up three goals in the second period and the NHL preseason got started Monday afternoon in historic fashion as the Nashville Predators edged the Florida Panthers 5-3 at BankAtlantic Center in the first game of a doubleheader.

Jani Lajunen had the go-ahead score with 3:11 remaining and Kyle Wilson added an insurance goal with 52 seconds left as the Predators picked up the victory despite being outshot in each period and 34-21 for the game.

The teams were set to face off again -- albeit with fresh rosters -- at 7:30 p.m.

Kostitsyn assisted on scores by Colin Wilson, Chris Mueller and Jonathon Blum to spark the Predators, who are coming off a season in which they won the first playoff series in franchise history.

Young defenseman Dmitry Kulikov and veteran forwards Mark Cullen and Greg Rallo scored for the Panthers in their first game with rookie coach Kevin Dineen behind the bench. Dineen will be looking to get Florida back to the postseason for the first time in 12 years.

Following a scoreless first period in which the Panthers held a 10-5 advantage in shots, the Predators recorded the first goal of the preseason early in the second. Florida defenseman Michael Caruso went off at 1:50 for high-sticking, and Wilson struck just 12 seconds into the man advantage for Nashville.

Kulikov, who has already played 140 NHL games and doesn't turn 21 until late October, drew the Panthers even on a power play at 10:48, but the Predators regained the lead 65 seconds later as Mueller scored. Mueller collected 3 assists in 15 games for Nashville last season.

Blum, who picked up the secondary assist on Wilson's tally, made it 3-1 by scoring the Predators' second power-play goal of the period with 4:20 left in the second. Cullen answered back for the Panthers with 43 seconds remaining and after they came out storming the net in the third Rallo netted the equalizer at the 2:26 mark. Angelo Esposito, a 2007 first-round pick by the Penguins, earned the primary assist.

scoring summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
02:02
NSH
PPG - Colin Wilson (1) Backhand shot - ASST: Sergei Kostitsyn (1), Jonathon Blum (1)
1 - 0 NSH
10:48
FLA
PPG - Dmitry Kulikov (1) Tip-in - ASST: Tyson Strachan (1), Steve Reinprecht (1)
1 - 1 Tie
11:53
NSH
Chris Mueller (1) Tip-in - ASST: Sergei Kostitsyn (2), Jordin Tootoo (1)
2 - 1 NSH
15:40
NSH
PPG - Jonathon Blum (1) Snap shot - ASST: Colin Wilson (1), Sergei Kostitsyn (3)
3 - 1 NSH
19:17
FLA
Mark Cullen (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Bill Thomas (1), Keaton Ellerby (1)
3 - 2 NSH
3rd Period
02:26
FLA
Greg Rallo (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Angelo Esposito (1), John McFarland (1)
3 - 3 Tie
16:49
NSH
Jani Lajunen (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Taylor Beck (1), Tyler Sloan (1)
4 - 3 NSH
19:08
NSH
Kyle Wilson (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Colin Wilson (2), Jordin Tootoo (2)
5 - 3 NSH
penalty summary
1st Period
09:12
NSH
Alexander Radulov  Interference  - 2 min against  Greg Rallo
10:26
FLA
Keaton Ellerby  Interference  - 2 min against  Jani Lajunen
12:22
FLA
Michael Caruso  Tripping  - 2 min against  Chris Mueller
14:49
NSH
Zack Stortini  Boarding  - 2 min against  Bill Thomas
19:56
FLA
Bracken Kearns  Cross checking  - 2 min against  Colin Wilson
19:56
FLA
Bracken Kearns  Unsportsmanlike conduct  - 2 min
2nd Period
01:50
FLA
Michael Caruso  Hi-sticking  - 2 min against  Juuso Puustinen
09:35
NSH
Alexander Radulov  Slashing  - 2 min against  Sean Bergenheim
14:31
FLA
Alex Petrovic  Elbowing  - 2 min against  Taylor Beck
3rd Period
11:23
NSH
Scott Valentine  Boarding  - 2 min against  Mark Cullen
14:38
FLA
Keith Seabrook  Interference  - 2 min against  Colin Wilson
goalie stats
Jeremy Smith
SA: 15TOI: 30:40
GA: 1SV%: .933
Chet Pickard
SA: 22TOI: 29:04
GA: 2SV%: .909
Brian Foster
SA: 14TOI: 29:33
GA: 4SV%: .714
Tyler Plante
SA: 8TOI: 29:35
GA: 1SV%: .875