The Carolina Hurricanes took on the Nashville Predators Thursday night in the Music City. The Canes made some sweet music in Nashville en route to their 5-2 win over the Predators. Jeff Skinner‘s first NHL hat trick fueled the Carolina Hurricanes offense in the big win.
Justin Faulk got the ball rolling 23 seconds into the hockey game. Faulk took a quick wrist shot from the half-wall that surprised Predators goalie Marek Mazanec. The Carolina Hurricanes took a 1-0 lead off the unassisted goal.
A hectic second period started with Mike Fisher deflecting a Victor Bartley slap shot past Justin Peters 50 seconds into the second period. Victor Bartley and Seth Jones got the assists on Fisher’s seventh goal of the season.
Nashville kept their foot on the gas. At 2:41 of the second period, Viktor Stalberg made it 2-1 in favor of the Predators. Justin Peters failed to cover the puck, and the puck went to Stalberg, who put it off of Peters and in. The goal was assisted by Nick Spaling.
Nashville’s reign of terror would end thanks to Jeff Skinner. Skinner came down the right side and ripped a wrist shot under the arm of Mazanec to make it 2-2 at 6:11 of the second period. Ryan Murphy and Tuomo Ruutu assisted Skinner’s goal.
The Carolina Hurricanes retook the lead after Riley Nash fired one by Mazanec at 11:51 of period two. Patrick Dwyer had a nice pass to set up Nash who walked in and wristed it past the Preds goalie. Patrick Dwyer and Ron Hainsey assisted Nash on his second goal of the year. It gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-2 lead.
Jeff Skinner was back at it again at 19:08 of the second period. He absolutely rifled a slap shot past Mazanec near the end of the Carolina Hurricanes power play. Skinner just let it rip from the right face-off dot and he scored on the beautiful shot. Skinner’s second goal of the game was assisted by Eric Staal and Justin Faulk.
This was a night to remember for Jeff Skinner as he netted his first NHL hat trick on an empty-net goal at 17:53 of the third period. The assists went to Justin Faulk and Andrej Sekera.
FINAL SCORE: Carolina Hurricanes- 5, Nashville Predators- 2
The Carolina Hurricanes needed to have a good follow up game against the Nashville Predators following their big win against the Washington Capitals. They got a tremendous follow up effort against the Nashville Predators. The big time players played like big time players for the Carolina Hurricanes. Jeff Skinner netted his first NHL hat trick in the process. He had nine two-goal games prior to tonight, including one on Tuesday in Washington.
Jeff Skinner is on fire. He has picked up six points (5 goals, 1 assist) in the past two games. He has great chemistry with Tuomo Ruutu and Eric Staal. Tuomo Ruutu has really stepped up his game. He has played well lately. He continued to go to the dirty areas, and free up space for Skinner and Staal tonight.
Justin Peters continues to prove to us that he is an NHL goalie. He had a rocky start to this game and looked pretty shaky for the first half of the game, but kept his composure and made huge saves in clutch moments. He saved 20 of 22 Nashville shots on Thursday night. Justin Peters now has a 6-7-1 record with a .922 save percentage and a 2.35 goals against average.
Justin Faulk out-dueled fellow American-born defenseman Seth Jones tonight. Justin Faulk played a great game. He has been playing some of his best hockey as of late. He picked up three points (1 goal, 2 assists) tonight. He now has eight points ( 2 goals, 6 assists) in the past six games. Faulk is certainly looking like he could be an Olympian in February.
This was one of the Carolina Hurricanes’ best team efforts of the year. No one played a “bad game” tonight for the Carolina Hurricanes. Every one came in tonight and played the way they needed to play. They have stuck to the system, and it is finally starting to reward them. This was a big win. They outplayed Nashville through out the entire game.
With a win tonight, the Carolina Hurricanes leap frog the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils to enter fourth place in the Metropolitan Division. They are now just one point behind the New York Rangers for third place in the division. The Carolina Hurricanes can get into second place in the Metro with a win tomorrow night against the Sharks. That would be huge for the Canes.
But not all is good for the Carolina Hurricanes. Three players left with injuries in Nashville. Mike Komisarek left the game with a lower-body injury. Patrick Dwyer left after taking a stick the left eye. The injury to Dwyer looked bad. Let’s hope he is okay, because eye injuries are never good. Drayson Bowman also left the game with a lower-body injury.
Injuries aside, the Carolina Hurricanes are all smiles leaving Nashville tonight. They played a complete game tonight, and they absolutely earned the win. The Canes have now won two straight going into tomorrow night’s game against the San Jose Sharks. If the Carolina Hurricanes can pick up a win tomorrow, they will be in very good shape in the division.