NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, January 5th
(All times Eastern)
Nashville Predators (18-18-6) at Carolina Hurricanes (17-16-9), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Carolina Hurricanes will aim for their first four-
game winning streak since last season when they welcome the Nashville
Predators for Sunday's battle at PNC Arena.
Carolina has matched a season-high with three consecutive wins and another
victory tonight would give the club its first four-game winning streak since
Feb. 28-March 5 of last season.
After winning two straight in overtime, the Hurricanes notched a 3-2 road
regulation win Saturday against the New York Islanders. Brett Sutter scored
the game winner in the second period as the Hurricanes held off the Islanders
for at Nassau Coliseum.
The win did come at a cost, however, as captain Eric Staal left the game due
to a lower-body injury in the second period and did not return. The star
centerman, who leads the Hurricanes with 35 points in 42 games this season,
expects to be a game-time decision on Sunday.
"He will get assessed tonight and hopefully we will know his status tomorrow,"
said Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller.
Staal's younger brother, Jordan, added a goal in Saturday's win, as did Manny
Malhotra, while Patrick Dwyer had a pair of assists for the Hurricanes. Anton
Khudobin made 38 saves in the win.
With No. 1 goaltender Cam Ward still out with a lower-body issue, Justin
Peters could get the start in net on Sunday. Otherwise, Khudobin will get the
call on consecutive days.
After notching their last two wins on the road, the Hurricanes will try to
keep heading in the right direction in today's home tilt. Carolina is 8-8-5 as
the host this season.
While Carolina aims for its longest win streak of the season, the Predators
hope to avoid a third straight loss on Sunday. Nashville is 0-0-2 so far in
2014, losing in overtime at Boston on Thursday before dropping a shootout
decision Saturday at Florida.
Although the Predators lost for the seventh time in nine game on Saturday, the
club did well to earn a point in the 5-4 setback against the Panthers.
Nashville trailed 4-2 midway through the third period, but were able to rally
to force overtime.
Seth Jones cut the deficit to 4-3 with 5:08 left in regulation and Paul
Gaustad tied it with 47.1 seconds left after putting home a rebound of a Shea
Weber shot from the point. However, Tomas Kopecky scored in the sixth round of
the shootout to give the extra point to the Panthers.
Craig Smith and Mike Fisher also scored in regulation for the Predators, while
Marek Mazanec made 25 saves in the loss.
"Obviously it was good for us to come back," said Weber. "But we're digging
ourselves holes and making mistakes we shouldn't be."
Nashville suffered its fourth straight road loss and will try to halt that
streak when it closes a three-game swing tonight in Raleigh. The Preds are
8-10-3 as the visiting team this season.
Although Nashville has claimed seven of the last 10 meetings in the series
against the Hurricanes, Carolina did notch a 5-2 road win over the Predators
on Dec. 5. Jeff Skinner recorded a hat trick for the 'Canes in that lopsided
Carolina has won its last two tilts against Nashville following a six-game
slide in the matchup.
01/05 10:37:49 ET