NASHVILLE, TN - The Carolina Hurricanes ended their four-game preseason schedule Saturday, taking a 4-3 loss to the Nashville Predators.
The Canes did get off to a strong start in the contest, scoring the game's first goal inside of the opening seven minutes. An attempted clear by the Predators was intercepted along the wall by Brendan Smith, who did a fantastic job of reading the play before completing the effort with stellar vision. Continuing his momentum, Smith snuck a feed from below the goal line between two defenders to Derek Stepan out front, where Juuse Saros met his initial try, but the put back by Jordan Martinook found a home to give the visitors an early lead.
For the remainder of the period the Canes hung onto that lead, despite affording Nashville three power plays. A slew of Nashville shots went wide of Frederik Andersen, who was tasked with stopping just three in the opening 20 minutes.
While the numbers were all in favor of Carolina to start the second, the tide began to turn quickly.
With four seconds remaining in Jesperi Kotkaniemi's minor penalty, Nashville evened the game at 1-1. Roman Josi pulled up from the blocker side circle of Frederik Andersen, beating his outstretched arm to tie the contest.
Less than six minutes after that, it became a 2-1 game in the Preds favor. Yakov Trenin swooped up a loose puck at center ice as the Canes were changing, crept in on Andersen and slid it five-hole on his backhand to give his team the lead.
Then, to conclude the second period scoring flurry, Filip Forsberg uncorked his gifted release past the Canes netminder. As Ethan Bear attempted to get a shot on net Carolina's team's attacking end, Forsberg got in the way of it, blocked it out to center and then took it the other way, setting up his opportunity.
3-1 at the end of two, the two teams would combine for three more in the third but the Canes were only ever really able to make it close for under a minute.
Tanner Jeannot made it 4-1 Predators and Ethan Bear was credited with the Canes initial response. Then, with under a minute to play, Stefan Noesen, who had a lot of eyeballs upon him in the contest, got some puck luck, getting a centering feed from behind the net to bank off of David Rittich and in.
They Said It: Quotes From The Night
Rod Brind'Amour on the game as a whole: "I thought it was a great game. I thought we played great, other than the special teams, power play, particularly. We really weren't throwing out power play guys for the most part. Our young guys played well and the [guys who are new to the team this year] played well too."
Derek Stepan on "I think there was a lot of things that as a coach, an organization and as a group and what you want to build, we did a lot of the things we can't waiver on. I thought we competed really hard. At times I thought we played the way we nee to play for 60 minutes, but we got a few free lessons on turnovers and that's the way the NHL works."
Ethan Bear on his transition to the team, to date: "I'm getting more comfortable with the system. I think it fits well for me. I know the way the team plays, the way Rod wants us to play and I like it a lot. It's a lot easier than what I'm used to. It takes the thinking out of the game - you react, trust your teammates and I enjoy it."
Make Sure It's Right
Especially at the point when the Predators had three goals on eight shots it's easy to look at the numbers and start to question Frederik Andersen.
Lest we not forget, first, it's preseason at the end of the day.
Second, breaking down each goal, it's impossible to place all of the blame on the Canes netminder. The team taking three penalties within a six-minute stretch is not on Freddie. The giveaway during a line change is not on Freddie. Getting a shot blocked at the blue line and being forced to face one of the best releases in all of the NHL is not on Freddie. Certainly it would be welcomed if he would have been able to steal one of the two, but the Canes netminder did make two robberies over the course of the game. First on Luke Kunin in the first period and then on Cody Glass in the third, the final score (for what it may or may not matter) could have been a lot worse tonight if not for Andersen.
The two sides opted to participate in a shootout after the final horn and it was highlighted by, (dramatic pause) of course, Seth Jarvis.
The 19-year-old shot first for Carolina, burying on a fake of the move made popular by Nikita Kucherov a few seasons ago. Cutting in, the 2020 first-round draft pick waved his stick over the puck before retaking possession and sneaking one through David Rittich. Must-see stuff.
The Canes begin their regular season on Thursday, October 14 at PNC Arena against the New York Islanders.