Jeff Skinner has had a knack for leading the Carolina Hurricanes to wins lately and tonight was no different as he scored the game-winner against the Nashville Predators to lead the team to a 2-1 win.
Alexander Semin scored the lone goal of the first two periods when he scooped up a Jeff Skinner rebound behind the Predators’ net, then banked it off Carter Hurron’s back to find the back of the net.
Patric Hornqvist tied it six minutes into the third on the power-play when he deflected Mike Fisher‘s pass from behind the net into an open net as Anton Khudobin was caught out of position. The puck went off Hornqvist’s skate, but it did not appear to be kicked.
But the tie would not last as Jeff Skinner scored the game-winner with less than four minutes left. He took a Tuomo Ruutu pass in the right circle and wristed it at the net. The puck squeaked through Hutton’s five-hole to give the Canes the lead.
The Hurricanes played a strong game in the first period, but began to fall off as the game went along, especially the offense. With three games in four nights, that shouldn’t be too surprising and the team did enough to earn the win.
The defense had a strong game, but Ryan Murphy was benched after taking an interference penalty while the Hurricanes were on the power-play. With Jay Harrison healthy, the benching could turn into a healthy scratch in the future.
The newly formed first line played well together with the absence of Eric Staal. Ruutu filled in nicely at center and should have no problem filling the void if he continues to play like that.
Anton Khudobin had another great effort with 31 saves on 32 shots. He continues to push Justin Peters away from the net and looks like the obvious answer as the goalie to keep.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Predators did not play that strong of a game. Sometimes you’ll get lucky with that, but had they been on their game, this game could have ended differently.