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The Official Site of the Carolina Hurricanes

REVIEW: Nashville Predators 3, HURRICANES 2

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

Rookies Richard Lintner and Randy Robitaille scored 44 seconds apart in the first period as the Nashville Predators held off the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-2.

Kimmo Timonen also scored for Nashville, which extended its unbeaten streak to a season-high six games (3-0-3) and handed Carolina its fourth straight road loss.

Robitaille quickly gave the Predators a 2-0 lead by banging home a loose puck at the right side of the net past goaltender Arturs Irbe.

Carolina's Gary Roberts halved the lead 91 seconds into the second period but Nashville regained its two-goal lead midway through the session. Timonen took a drop pass from Ville Peltonen in the slot and rifled a wrist shot past Irbe for his sixth goal.

Hurricanes defenseman Nolan Pratt scored his second goal in two games early in the third period to cut the deficit to 3-2 but Carolina mustered little offense the rest of the way.

"Our lack of team speed hurt us," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said.

Since losing six straight starts, Nashville goaltender Tomas Vokoun has won consecutive decisions. He improved to 2-8-1 on the season by making 27 saves.

"I'm gaining my confidence with each game," he said.

Vokoun made his best stops in the second period, both on Carolina center Jeff O'Neill. With just over six minutes gone, he smothered O'Neill's backhander from the doorstep off a 2-on-1 break and later made a split stop on O'Neill from the same area with the Hurricanes on a power play.

"We took it to them in the second period, but Vokoun was able to stop most of our shots," Roberts said. "Anytime you get two goals down, it is tough to get yourself out of it."

Vokoun replaced Mike Dunham, who missed the game with the flu and was not on the bench for the Predators.

"Tomas made some huge saves, especially in the second period," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "We're getting some goals for him, finally. He has been a big part of our last two wins. He is seeing his opportunities to play with Dunham sick."

Irbe stopped 26 stops and has dropped six of his last seven starts. He fell to 11-12-7.

Carolina has seven of its last nine games and has dropped two of the three all-time meetings with Nashville.

-----------------------------Carolina             0 1 1--2Nashville            2 1 0--3-----------------------------FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Nashville, Lintner 1 (Ronning), 12:09. 2,Nashville, Robitaille 7 (Valicevic, Peltonen), 12:53.SECOND PERIOD -- Scoring: 3, Carolina, Roberts 7 (Oneill, Kovalenko),1:31. 4, Nashville, Timonen 6 (Peltonen, B Boughner), 10:37. Penalties:Lintner, Nas (interference), 7:13; Fitzgerald, Nas (interference), 14:40.THIRD PERIOD -- Scoring: 5, Carolina, Pratt 2 (Coffey, Gelinas), 3:20.Penalties: Battaglia, Car (holding), 13:55.Shots on goal:---------------------------------Carolina             13 10  6--29Nashville            13 12  4--29---------------------------------

Power-play Conversions: Car - 0 of 2, Nas - 0 of 1. Goalies: Carolina, Irbe (29 shots, 26 saves; record: 11-12-7). Nashville, Vokoun (29, 27; record: 2-8-1). A:17,113. Referee: Ohalloran. Linesmen: Nowak, M Pare.

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