It was a game that Carolina was leading 4-1 at one point, and it got as close as 4-3 in the end, but the Canes shut down the Nashville comeback attempt to ensure that they edged the Predators out. In a very physical game, Carolina’s players were guilty of trying to defend a lead for the last 10 minutes of this one, and it almost came back to bite them again. However, eventually, they would hit the empty cage to remove all doubt.
In a game where the defenders tallied as many goals as Carolina’s Russian sniper, it was really the blueline that had a big say in this result. Two of the five goals were from the blueline, including the first goal of the game, and the one that would eventually restore a 2 goal lead at the end of the second period. It was a tightly fought game and the blueline scoring was a big part of it.
Carolina’s hard pressing and relentless forecheck was also a big part of their ability to take the game to Nashville and pin them in their zone. This was a game where Carolina’s 4th line looked fantastic, and with them even getting on the scoresheet, they were a big reason Carolina controlled the pace of this one and eventually were able to just break down the team from Music City.
But the member of the team that proved himself to be big in this one is easily Carolina’s candidate for the Georges Vezina trophy and their big Danish netminder, Frederik Andersen. He wasn’t called upon often in this game until the 3rd period when Nashville was trying everything to get back into this one. He made big saves when he needed to and it allowed Carolina to keep the momentum and press down on the Predators.