NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Nashville Predators got off to a fast start Saturday night, and Anders Lindback took over from there.
Patric Hornqvist, Shea Weber and Marcel Goc scored in the first period, leading the Predators to a 5-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.
Lindback had 28 stops in his first start since Nov. 7, improving to 4-1-1 this season. The six-foot-six Lindback will see much of the action in net for the Predators for the next couple weeks after Pekka Rinne, the Predators’ top goalie, had left knee surgery on Friday.
“It’s my job to be ready any time when Peks is gone,” Lindback said. “I’m just going to have to do my best and try to help the team to win.”
Cal O’Reilly and Steve Sullivan had the other goals for the Predators, who have won three straight.
Joe Corvo and Jiri Tlusty scored for Carolina, which has dropped three of four.
“We made some big mistakes that caused us problems,” Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. “We are prone to trying doing too many big things instead of a bunch of little things.”
Hornqvist converted a rebound at 2:33, Weber picked up his fourth goal midway through the first and Goc added a wrister with 3:59 left in the opening period to make it 3-1. Nashville had 17 shots on net in the first.
“I thought we got off to a nice start, executed pretty well, and got some nice goals,” coach Barry Trotz said. “When you score some goals in the first, it obviously gives you some confidence.”
Martin Erat had three assists for Nashville, and has five helpers over his last two games.
“Sometimes it takes a little bit longer to find the chemistry in the lines,” Erat said. “Right now, we are going well. All four lines are playing well.”
Tlusty had the only goal in the second, and Nashville put it away with two in the third. O’Reilly scored at 8:44 and Sullivan added an empty-netter with 2:50 left.
“We just didn’t keep coming in the third period and it cost us the game,” Tlusty said.
Cam Ward made 34 saves for Carolina in his fifth consecutive start and second in as many nights.
“We were able to turn it around in the second, but it is tough when you get in a 3-1 hole early,” Ward said. “I certainly didn’t help the cause since I had trouble controlling my rebounds in the first period. Those resulted in some goals.”
NOTES: Nashville C David Legwand missed his eighth consecutive game with a lower-body injury. … The Predators are 3-0-1 against Southeast Division teams this season. … Ward is 0-4-1 in his career against the Predators. … Rinne was injured Wednesday night at Columbus.