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Recap: Canes Blanked by Rinne, Predators

Canes suffer first shutout loss of the season

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

The Carolina Hurricanes suffered their first shutout loss of the season, dropping a 3-0 decision to the Nashville Predators.

Pekka Rinne made 31 saves to snap the Canes' six-game winning streak against Nashville.

Here are five takeaways from Black Friday in Raleigh.

1. Blanked

For the first time this season and the first time since March 15, the Hurricanes did not put a puck past the opposing goaltender.

The chances were there. The game plan was there. The conversion was not.

Video: CAR Recap: Hurricanes shut out by Predators

"I thought we created quite a few chances for ourselves in the first and second," Jordan Staal said.

"We were not poor tonight, that's for sure," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "We just weren't able to capitalize. That's it."

2. Chances

The Hurricanes had their chances early. In fact, before the Predators scored their first goal of the game, the Canes held an 8-3 shot advantage.

"Our start was good," Staal said. "We created lots of chances with lots of grade A's."

The difference early - and, really, all night - was the play of Pekka Rinne, who had not seen the crease in the previous three games after a disastrous and winless four-game stretch in which he surrendered 18 goals and was yanked in three of those four starts.

It was only a matter of time before he rebounded with that kind of brick wall performance, and his play early allowed his team to grab a lead and sit on it for the balance of the game.

3. Bounces

With the Hurricanes buzzing, all it took was a simple flip of the puck to tilt the ice back the other way.

Nick Bonino aired the puck out of his own zone, and Rocco Grimaldi gave chase, gathering it on a breakaway and stuffing it in through Petr Mrazek to put the Predators up 1-0 at the 8:15 mark of the first period.

"That kind of took the wind out of our sails a little bit," Brind'Amour said.

With 2:05 left in the first period, Filip Forsberg spotted Calle Jarnkrok opened, and he doubled the Preds' lead to 2-0 heading into the intermission.

Video: Martinook: "We tried to be too cute in the third"

"We probably had three or four pretty solid chances in the first 10 minutes. Even coming in after the first, we were happy with the period," Jordan Martinook said. "We played pretty good, but you come out down two."

"It was tough because I thought the start was perfect," Brind'Amour said. "We had two or three great looks. Didn't get anything."

The Canes were still pleased with their second period, though Austin Watson tipped in Mattias Ekholm's shot to make it a 3-0 game, after which the Predators were content to clog the neutral zone and stifle any additional push the Canes might muster.

"That team, the style they play, they locked down the neutral zone," Martinook said. "It was hard coming through there in the third."

"We know they don't give up much. They're a stingy team," Brind'Amour said. "We did have the looks. We just didn't put it in."

4. Two Sides of Special Teams

The Hurricanes' penalty kill was a perfect 4-for-4, improving to 29-for-31 (93.5 percent) over their last 10 games.

"We've done a better job of being patient at times when we should and then being aggressive when we can," Staal said. "I thought our D did a great job of pressuring in the corners to kind of create some turnovers, and down ice, we made it difficult for them to get in the zone comfortably."

The power play, though, came up empty (0-for-3).

Video: Staal: "We've got a big challenge ahead of us"

"Our PP has got to be better," Staal said. "That wasn't on tonight."

"Our power play wasn't good. That took a little bit of life out of us," Brind'Amour said. "Other than that, it was there for us."

5. Unfortunate Firsts

The loss snapped the Hurricanes' six-game winning streak against the Predators. It was the first time the Canes lost in their alternate sweaters this season (3-1-0) and their first defeat in the front half of a back-to-back set (5-1-0) this season.

Unfortunate firsts, with a chance to rebound less than 24 hours from now.

"They played a great road game, but we could have been better," Staal said.

"With the type of people we have in this room, the work ethic is not going to change," Martinook said. "When you have that as your staple going forward, we'll be fine."

Up Next

The Hurricanes close out their November schedule in Tampa on Saturday night.

"A very good team. We've got a big challenge ahead of us," Staal said. "It's good. We'll get right back into it against a good tea mand find a way to get a good road win."

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