NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In their previous five games, the Nashville Predators were shut out on the power play. They didn’t have much trouble scoring with the man advantage on Saturday night.
Patric Hornqvist scored two of Nashville’s four power-play goals to lead the Predators to a 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
“I think we got away from our work ethic and execution—all of the little details that you need and then you also need a little bit of puck luck,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “We had a little bit of all three tonight.
“The power play made a big statement coming back after a little bit of a dry spell. That’s just what happens in the season sometimes.”
The Predators finished 4 for 5 on the power play after going 0 for 16 in their last five games.
Hornqvist missed a hat trick when his goal at 11:03 of the third period was disallowed after a video review.
“They have the best cameras in the league,” Hornqvist said. “I’m pretty sure it was the right call. Of course, a hat trick is a big thing. Hopefully, it will come sooner or later.”
Hornqvist scores most of his goals while battling in front of the net. In typical fashion both of his goals were ugly ones in terms of execution.
Hornqvist, stationed in front of the net, tipped in a shot by Mike Fisher with 2:56 left in the second period to give the Predators a 3-0 lead.
At the 6:56 mark of the third period Hornqvist scored his second power-play goal of the game as he tapped the puck in even though he was flat on the ice in front of the net.
“If you keep going in front of the net sometimes good things happen,” Hornqvist said. “The puck bounced my way. I got the scoring chances. … We did a great job of taking the puck to the net. I like to be in front of the net. I’m not a skilled guy. It’s my job to be in front of the net.”
Shea Weber opened the scoring at 9:14 of the first period after taking a pass from Martin Erat as he crossed the blue line and converting a slap shot from the point past Carolina goaltender Justin Peters to his glove side.
Smith made it 2-0 with 6:44 to go in the first on a one-time on the power play.
Jay Harrison, who scored twice, got the Hurricanes on the board with his fourth of the season at 8:35 of the third.
Ryan Ellis extended the margin back to four with his first NHL goal, on the power play with 5:32 remaining.
“It was good puck movement,” Ellis said. “I think our power play seemed to be doing pretty well. We were moving the puck well. Roman Josi had a fake shot and kind of sucked in a couple of their guys and it opened me up. I just tried to get it to the net.”
Ellis, playing in his fifth NHL game, admitted it was good to get his first goal.
“I wasn’t throwing anything at the net the first few games,” Ellis said. “You get frustrated when you are trying and nothing is really working. It was a nice feeling to get a goal.”
Harrison closed the scoring with 2:04 left, this time on the power play.
Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne won his 20th game of the season, stopping 27 shots.
Peters, making only his second appearance of the season, turned back 31 attempts.
“We know you can’t walk in here and give up four bad penalties in the offensive zone,” Carolina coach Kirk Muller said. “Their power play has some skill that can hurt you again and again. They capitalized on it.”
NOTES: Fisher assisted on three goals, a season high which also tied his career high for assists in a game. … Weber has 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in his last 22 games, and seven points in his last seven games against Carolina. … The Predators are 6-1-1 when Weber scores. … The last time Carolina won at Nashville was Dec. 3, 2002. … This was the eighth of 16 back-to-back games for Carolina. … The Predators are 17-2-2 when scoring more than two goals. … Peters was making only his second appearance of the season. …Erat was credited with two assists giving him eight points (three goals, five assists) in his last 11 games.