Filip Forsberg extended his goal streak to three games, but the Nashville Predators endured their first defeat of the season, with a 4-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night at Bridgestone Arena.
Viktor Arvidsson also scored for Nashville to give the Preds their first power-play goal of the season, while Pekka Rinne started his first game of the campaign and made 20 saves in the loss.
Nashville began the season with two wins against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but the consensus from the Preds after those outings was that the effort needed to be improved. They got that on Monday night, but as Forsberg said following the loss, sometimes that's just the way the game goes.
"We deserved to win, and I thought we played a lot better than we did the other night," Forsberg said. "It's a funny game, hockey. You play OK and you win, and then you play great and you lose. We had chances, we have to bear down better on those and we'll be looking to do that tomorrow."
Video: Forsberg, Arvidsson and Fabbro recap 4-2 loss
While the Predators were pleased with the opportunities they were generating, a handful of breakdowns ultimately cost them on Monday, and that's an area the group will look to clean up ahead of Tuesday's rematch.
"There are several things we need to do a little bit better," Preds Head Coach John Hynes said. "Our rush defense and transition to defense where we gave up some of those odd-man rushes [cost us], but I thought there were a lot of good minutes. We've got to build on some of the positives as we have the same team tomorrow, so we'll be ready to go."
Video: Coach Hynes sees positives in Nashville's loss
After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, it appeared the second stanza may render the same result, but with just under four minutes to play in that middle frame, Carolina's Andrei Svechnikov converted on the power play to give his team a 1-0 lead.
Video: CAR@NSH: Forsberg counters quickly on partial break
However, only 44 seconds later, Forsberg got his third in three games. On a long stretch pass from Dante Fabbro, Arvidsson tipped the puck up to Forsberg for a breakaway, and the winger beat James Reimer to even the count at 1-1 through 40 minutes of play.
Video: CAR@NSH: Arvidsson buries a rocket on power play
In the third, Vincent Trocheck gave the Canes the lead, just moments after Nick Cousins hit the crossbar for Nashville, and Sebastian Aho extended the advantage to two goals seven minutes later. Arvidsson brought the Preds back to within one on the man advantage at 13:26 of the third, but Nino Niederreiter gave Carolina their second win of the season when he iced the contest with an empty-netter.
"We had some defensive breakdowns a little bit, and it cost us," Arvidsson said. "We've got to clean those up, but I think we played a good game. But as Fil said, you lose sometimes in this League too when you play well."
With the first of eight meetings against Carolina now in the record books, the Predators will have a chance to make amends fewer than 24 hours from now, and they're hopeful more of the positives from Monday's effort will lead to a different result.
"Honestly, more of the same," Forsberg said on what he'd like to see from his team on Tuesday. "We can definitely tighten things up, defensively, but like I said, I like the effort, but we didn't win. Obviously, we'll assess it tomorrow, and hopefully we can come up with a win tomorrow."
Video: NSH Recap: Forsberg, Arvidsson score in 4-2 loss
Yakov Trenin, Jarred Tinordi and Luca Sbisa were scratched for the Preds on Monday night.
Filip Forsberg has now scored goals in three-straight games to open the season for the second consecutive campaign. Forsberg tallied in Nashville's first four games in 2019-20.
Nashville and Carolina complete their back-to-back set on Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena (at 7 p.m. CT) before the Predators jet off to Dallas to face the Stars on Friday and Sunday.