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Preseason Game Blog: Sept. 23 Preds vs. Carolina Hurricanes

by Jay Levin / Nashville Predators
The Preds open their 2010 Preseason Schedule tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes at Bridgestone Arena (7 pm CT start). Follow all the action here on our in-game blog.

It is very hard to take too much away from the final score of tonight's game; Carolina dressed a lineup that will bear a strong resemblance to its regular season roster while the Preds went very young with their lineup for tonight's game. Nashville used the game as an early camp measuring stick for young elite prospects like Jon Blum, Ryan Ellis, Blake Geoffrion; none of Nashville's projected top-four defensemen skated in tonight's game and likely only three of team's top nine or 10 forwards dressed.

Tonight's game was very much about learning experiences and individual performances. The coaches didn't even try to match lines or create power-play units, instead watching how the players adjusted to the different match-ups and situations. Some guys likely played their way into a more extended preseason look with their performances tonight.

Tootoo had an impressive game; he's been flying around the ice all training camp and took that speed game into tonight's action. He created several chances for his linemates by using speed to open up the ice. Ryan Parent played a steady game on the back end. And don't overlook the stellar performance in net by Pekka Rinne.

Young Taylor Beck continues to be
the surprise of Training Camp. Beck's stellar play in the rookie games and intra-squad scrimmages earned him a preseason game alongside J-P Dumont and Marcel Goc. They were a consistent offensive threat tonight and Beck didn't look out of place crashing the net on the wing for the two vets. There's a long way between the preseason opener and Opening Night roster, but Beck is definitely tightening up the competition among the forwards in camp; forcing other forwards to up their play or risk losing their roster spot.
--Jay Levin,

9:23 pm CT
Game over, 3-1 Carolina. We'll be live blogging from Raleigh tomorrow night for the rematch between the Preds and Canes.

9:22 pm CT
Empty net goal for Erik Cole. Shot the puck down the ice and won the race to negate icing. Tucked the puck inside the empty net. 3-1 Carolina.

9:21 pm CT
48.3 seconds left. Carolina using its timeout. Looks like it will be O'Reilly, Hornqvist, Geoffrion, Kostitsyn, Ellis, Franson out there for the Preds.

9:20 pm CT
Empty net with 1:13 remaining. Preds keeping the pressure around the Carolina net. Goc and Dumont ... with Ellis joining down low.

9:16 pm CT
2:50 remaining in regulation. Preds to be shorthanded; Parent with a penalty (holding)

Check that, Tootoo might have just drawn an "even up" penalty on Harrison -- similar to the roughing call that Wilson took early in the first period. Good job by Tootoo to stay disciplined and draw the call on Harrison. So it looks like it will be four-on-four action here late in the third.

9:13 pm CT
Good power-play shift by the Dumont line. Not sure how the puck stayed out of the net. A couple close calls around the goal crease.

9:11 pm CT
Power-play chance for the Preds. Under 6:00 remaining in regulation. Ruutu off for slashing.

9:06 pm CT
Strong shift by Thuresson-Spaling-K. Wilson. Put the puck to the front of the net and kept the pressure on. Had a couple of good scoring chances on the shift.

9:06 pm CT
Got the successful PK. Now need to crank up the offense. Still 2-1 Carolina in front with 8:58 left in the third.

9:03 pm CT
Laakso off for tripping. Big PK here for the Preds midway through the third period.

8:57 pm CT
13:16 left in Period 3. Better pressure and a few good looks, but unable to tie the score on the power-play. Shots on goal are now even 22-22.

8:54 pm CT
Preds back to power-play; 15:23 left in the period. Nashville wasn't able to get much going on its last PP; lets see if the Hornqvist-O'Reilly-Kostitsyn line can generate some chances here with the man advantage.

8:49 pm CT
Preds head to the power-play 0:27 into the third period.

8:31 pm CT
Hornqvist nearly tied the score with under 40 seconds left in the period. Nice pass from O'Reilly; good save by Peters. 2-1 end of two periods. Carolina leads the shots 22-17, but that's not really indicative of how even the game has been.

8:23 pm CT
Carolina takes a 2-1 lead with 4:26 left in the second period. Power-play goal. Dekanich was unable to hold the rebound off Staal's initial shot and Samsonov came in and tucked home the rebound. Tough spot for Dekanich after entering in the middle of the period.

8:20 pm CT
Preds shorthanded again. Laakso for boarding. On the flip side, the PK has been effective. Really limited Carolina to very few quality scoring chances.

8:16 pm CT
Midway through the game. Goalie change. Mark Dekanich entering for the Preds. Good showing by Rinne (17 saves on 18 shots); only one goal against (a breakaway goal) and a handful of big time stops.

Midgame impressions on the skaters: Tootoo is flying around the ice; creating some good chances with his speed. Beck-Goc-Dumont has been a very effective combination. Nick Spaling's playing an effective match-up line role. And no one really standing out for the wrong reasons.

Dumont, Goc, and Hornqvist all wearing an "A" for tonight's game.

8:11 pm CT
Carolina back on the power-play. Dumont called for hooking. Power-plays are now 4-1 in favor of the Canes.

8:05 pm CT
15:14 left in the second period -- tie game. Franson broke his stick on a shot attempt; Carolina quickly countered with Zac Dalpe hitting Patrick O'Sullivan for a breakaway. O'Sullivan was all alone from the redline in.

8:02 pm CT
Rinne robs Bowman again. Big right pad save from in tight.

7:58 pm CT
And back to play here for the start of the second period.

7:42 pm CT
First period comes to a close, 1-0 Nashville. Shots on goal favor Carolina 9-7.

7:40 pm CT
WOW! Only one period into the preseason and Rinne has a leading contender for Save of the Preseason! Amazing lunging dive to rob Drayson Bowman on the power-play. Bowman all alone with the puck on his stick; Rinne dove left to right to make the chest deflection and keep the game 1-0 Nashville.

7:37 pm CT
Kelsey Wilson off for roughing. Tried to find a partner to drop the gloves, but no one from Carolina would oblige.

7:29 pm CT
Skating five-on-five. Another strong shift by Beck, Dumont, and Goc. Dumont looks involved so far. Beck continues to look comfortable out on the ice; continuing his strong camp -- was very a standout in the Rookie Games at Florida, looked strong in the intra-squad scrimmage games.

Keep in mind this is a pretty good lineup Carolina is dressing tonight. Carolina's defensive corps is a little young tonight, but up front is strong -- Eric Staal, Erik Cole, Jussi Jokinen, Sergei Samsonov, Tuomo Ruutu.

7:26 pm CT
Power-play negated. Hornqvist called for interference, so we'll skate four-on-four for just under a minute and then Carolina would be in line to start a power-play.

7:25 pm CT
10:16 left in the first period. Nashville going on the power-play. Sergei Samsonov for high sticking.

7:23 pm CT
Goal Predators! J-P Dumont with the tally. Really strong play by Goc and Beck to start the sequence -- odd-man situation down low with Beck feeding Goc for a pair of golden chances; kept the play in deep and Dumont snapped the loose puck into the upper corner.

7:18 pm CT
13:34 left in the first period. First media timeout; still scoreless game.

So far the Preds defensive pairings have been: Laakso-Parent / Franson-Ellis / Blum-Sulzer
Up front, the forwards have been rolling with: Hornqvist-O'Reilly-Kostitsyn / Andersson-Geoffrion-Tootoo / Dumont-Goc-Beck / Thuresson-Spaling-K. Wilson

Guessing there will be some mixing and matching as the game moves on, but....

7:14 pm CT
Strong shift for Hornqvist-O'Reilly-Kostitsyn. Generated three shots and pair of quality scoring chances. The first extended offensive push for Nashville tonight.

7:14 pm CT
Good penalty kill for the Preds. Carolina didn't generate any dangerous scoring chances during its PP.

7:11 pm CT
Preds shorthanded 0:44 into the game; Ryan Ellis off for Holding.

7:09 pm CT
And we're underway! Andersson-Geoffrion-Tootoo starting up front for the Preds with Laakso-Parent on defense and Rinne in net.

5:47 pm CT
Found out the Carolina Hurricanes will be broadcasting tonight's game on the radio. Click here to access the Hurricanes Radio Feed.

5:07 pm CT
Preds Fest starting off tonight with a pre-game Plaza Party. Come on down and check it out; corner of Broadway and 5th Ave!

3:07 pm CT
Guys skated on the Bridgestone Arena ice for the first time today during morning skate. Check out the pics from the practice.
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