Saros stops record 64 shots as Predators beat Hurricanes
RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The shots came at such a fast pace that Nashville goaltender Juuse Saros didn’t get a chance to assess the chaos in front of him.
Just make the next save.
Saros set a franchise record with 64 saves, and Mark Jankowski’s 5-06 goal in the third period gave the Predators their first lead in a 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.
“It was a sweaty night but it was nice to get the win,” said Saros, who had been selected for the NHL All-Star Game a few hours earlier.
Saros made the third-most saves in NHL history. He stopped all 28 shots in the third.
“He made several big saves,” said Predators coach John Hynes. “He’s one of the stars of our team. He played like that.”
The 67 recordings for Carolina marked a franchise record. The previous high was 65 when the team defeated Toronto as Hartford Whalers on March 15, 1984.
“You have to win the game,” said Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour. “What you must do is give honor where honor is due. This guy has played such a good game on the net as you will never see.”
Saros didn’t mind the workload.
“I’m fine,” he said. “That’s why we practice.”
Filip Forsberg, Mattias Ekholm and Cody Glass also scored for Nashville, which has a four-game points streak. Colton Sissons had an empty goal and Alexandre Carrier provided two assists.
Paul Stastny, Brady Skjei and Jordan Staal scored for Carolina. Brett Pesce had two assists and Pyotr Kochetkov had 20 stops.
The Hurricanes, who were on a franchise-record 11-game winning streak against the New York Rangers on Tuesday night, have lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time since Nov. 6-9.
This one hurt because what seemed like dominance was for nothing.
“We had the puck most of the game,” Staal said. “We definitely have to regroup and tackle things again. It’s two in a row. We have to find a way to get on the right side.”
Saros was up to the task when he faced Carolina’s power play in the last four minutes, and he managed a 6-on-5 until Sissons’ empty net was 2.9 seconds from the end.
“He’s an All-Star for a reason,” Jankowski said.
The Predators responded to each of Carolina’s three goals with a three-minute draw. Nashville scored three goals on his first 12 shots. The Hurricanes held a 31-12 lead in shots after Glass’s fourth goal of the season and second in two games.
“It can’t be nice every night, but you have to dig something up,” said Ekholm.
The Predators prided themselves on playing well enough on offense to overcome what was happening on the other end.
“Every time we come down like that, we know what we’re capable of,” said Jankowski.
The goals for Stastny and Forsberg came from power plays. Skjei scored a 4v4 after 35 seconds in the second period.
“The pace of the game, they obviously put some pressure on it,” Hynes said. “We flipped some pucks that allowed them to attack a little bit more.
“Carolina always plays like this. They shoot a lot of pucks. Especially at the back you knew it was going to be a hard push from them.”
WELCOME ON BOARD
Left winger Max Pacioretty made his Carolina debut when he ran on the fourth line in his first game of the season.
“My energy was there,” he said.
Pacioretty started six shots on goal.
“I just want him to get up to game speed as soon as possible,” Brind’Amour said before the game. “Then he’ll have that period of adjustment to what we’re doing.”
Pacioretty was a key off-season acquisition for the Hurricanes, trading for him out of Vegas. In August he underwent surgery for a torn Achilles tendon and was expected to miss up to six months.
He appeared in 626 regular-season games with 226 goals.
Hurricanes forward Stefan Noesen missed his first game since the opener after sustaining a lower body injury in the first half on Tuesday night. … Carolina forward Andrei Svechnikov was also selected for the All-Star Game.
Predators: Friday in Washington.
Hurricanes: At Columbus on Saturday.
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