Friday, January 8, 2010

Game Recap: Preds Spring Trap, Beat Canes 4-2

Coach Barry Trotz Post Game Comments

Patric Hornqvist, Pekka Rinne and J P Dumont postgame comments

The Nashville Predators did not play their best hockey but managed to beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 at the Sommet Center on Thursday night in what was clearly a "trap" game for the Preds.

Patric Hornqvist had two goals and an assist to lead the Predator attack. Steve Sullivan and J. P. Dumont each had a goal and an assist. Shea Weber also had a two point game with a pair of assists.

Carolina received goals from Rod Brind'Amour and Tom Kostopoulos. Jerome Samson got an assist on the Canes first goal in his first NHL game.

Carolina started the game with a lot of jump and took an early lead on Rod Brind'Amour's goal at 2:32 in the first period.

The first period became completely disjointed with a series of penalties starting with a Patric Hornqvist roughing call at 5:17. At 9:47 Jerome Samson got his first NHL penalty with a hooking call. Eleven seconds later, Hornqvist returned to the box with a four minute high sticking call.

At 10:20 Ryan Suter was sent to the box on a very weak cross checking call. Matt Cullen was then whistled for tripping at 11:40. The final result of all the special team play was a short handed goal by J P Dumont at 13:45 with 13 seconds left in the Hornqvist double minor.

Partic Hornqvist stated his redemption process with a power play goal at 19:36 in the first when Shea Weber missed high and the puck caromed off the glass and Hornqvist got the rebound and flipped it into the net for a 2-1 Pred lead.

Carolina out shot the Preds 15-12 in the first period.

The second period was plagued with marginal play by both teams. After a couple of failed Predator power plays on two Rod Brind'Amour penalties Steve Sullivan scored at 18:50 to give the Preds a 3-1 lead to end the period. Shots were even at eight for the period.

Patric Hornqvist scored again on a five on three power play at 11:16 in the third period after penalties to Joni Pitkanen for holding and a huge penalty to Andrew Alberts for an injury causing checking from behind penalty that left Steve Sullivan laid out on the ice for several minutes. Alberts also got a game misconduct an is probably facing additional action from the league office.

Sullivan had to be helped off the ice and went straight to the training room. Barry Trotz indicated that Sully would be sore tomorrow and would probably miss Saturday's game. He did indicate that it was not an injury to the back.

Carolina never gave up and brought it within two goals on a short handed Tom Kostopoulos goal at 12:03 in the third. The game ended 4-2 with the Preds out shooting the Canes 14-4 in the third and 34-27 for the game.

Storylines From the Game

Winning on an Off Night...

The Predators clearly did not play their best game against the Hurricanes. At times they seemed to be going through he motions against a surprisingly feisty team chocked full of rookie call-ups filling out the injury depleted roster.

The game was a scary proposition going in as it was clearly a trap game against the lowly Eastern Conference Hurricanes squeezed in between two rivals, Calgary and Anaheim.

"It was a trap game," said Barry Trotz. "I wasn’t happy with our emotional attitude this morning, and I let everybody know it. There’s not a lot of quit in that Carolina team. We were up 4-1 and they were still pressing. It felt like we were the ones losing the hockey game."

Trotz further described the poor start to the game, "They (Carolina) have actually been playing well, but in the standings they got off to such a bad start and suffered so many injuries. There’s not a lot of emotion or a lot of history between the two teams, but they came out and got the first goal. We took some penalties, and it was hard to get going. That shorthanded goal by JP was huge for us. We were fighting an uphill battle and it felt like we were in mud."

Injuries Mount...

The Predators added Steve Sullivan to the list of injured players that includes Mart Erat, Joel Ward, Jerred Smithson and Jordin Tootoo.

"Win a game, lose a player," lamented Barry Trotz to open the postgame presser. "You look down the bench and there’s not a lot of veteran presence anymore. The young guys are playing well, giving all they’ve got."

Trotz continued, " This is a part of the season where your depth is challenged. Guys have had good schooling in Milwaukee and now they have to step up and play in more determined roles."

Barry Trotz will have to enter the training room on Friday and take a roll call to see who will be available for the next game on Saturday. The good news is that Joel Ward and Marty Erat may be able to return but Sullivan will probably be out for the next game.

Pekka Stood Out

Pekka Rinne seemed somewhat out of kilter in the first period but much of it was related to inconsistent play in front of his net against a persistent Carolina team.

Pekka was wearing new pads and lost a puck early that eased out of the back near the goal line before Francis Bouillon swept it clear. Pekka reflected, "I thought I had it covered then I heard the crowd behind me start screaming and I didn't hear a whistle but Frankie saved me."

J.P. Dumont gave full credit to Rinne for the win, "The start wasn’t exactly the start we wanted to make and we spent too much time in the box but I think the guys did a great job. We won 4-2, but we have to give credit to Pekka tonight because he did an excellent job for us."

Up Next...

The Preds will close out the home stand on Saturday against the Ducks and then head out for a three game road trip to the Canadian Northwest playing Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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