Early start by Predators dooms Hurricanes in season opener

The Carolina Hurricanes wanted to get their season off to a good start, but the Nashville Predators had some other plans, as their early start in the first period would be the difference maker, as the Predators would defeat the Hurricanes 2-1 last night in the season opener for both teams at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

“We had a little bit of adversity, I thought we had it for a while, but all three penalties in the game for us in the O-zone, so that can’t be something that’s part of what we do, so we got to get that cleaned up and we’ll be fine.” said Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters.

Nashville got out of the gates early in the opening frame, after the Hurricanes were issued a penalty to Jordan Staal for Hi-sticking 57 seconds into the game, the Predators would jump on the board first, when forward Craig Smith deflected a pass from Ryan Ellis from near the halfwall to give Nashville an early 1-0 lead on the power-play.  That lead would grow to 2-0 15 minutes later at 17:03 of the first, as Viktor Arvidsson deflected a point shot from Calle Jarnkrok into the cage for his first NHL goal.

Both teams would not score in the second frame, but Peters liked what he saw out of his team in the final period of action. “It was good, I thought we started to push in the second. I think a lot of their offensive momentum came on the power play, and I thought we had a real good push.”

Carolina would spoil the shutout bid for Predators goalie Pekka Rinne at 18:20 of the third period to put Carolina on the board, but it was too little, too late, as Nashville came away with a 2-1 win.  During last night’s game, James Wisniewski, one of the newest Hurricanes, slumped to the ice and he would miss the remainder of the game due to a lower-body injury, but there was no word from coach Peters about the severity of the injury in his post-game scrum last night.

The Hurricanes will be back in action tomorrow night as they open up the home portion of their schedule against the Detroit Red Wings(7:00 p.m., FOX Sports Carolinas, Hurricanes Radio Network).

NOTES: With the win last night, Nashville is now 10-4-0 in it’s last 9 meetings between the two teams…Noah Hanifin, the Hurricanes 5th overall pick in last summer’s NHL Draft, made his debut last night averaging 18:01 of ice time in the game for Carolina…Michal Jordan and Brad Malone were Carolina’s healthy extras, while Anthony Bitetto, Austin Watson, and Victor Bartley were the health extras for Nashville.