The Nashville Predators' point streak stopped at four games, after falling to the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena 3-2 in regulation Sunday night.
Jeff Skinner, who has already hit the twenty goal mark, scored the game-winner less than ten minutes after Patric Hornqvist tied the game up at one on the power play at 6:46 in the third period. Hornqvist's goal had to be reviewed after a possible kicking motion, but the goal stood.
With Mike Fisher's assist on Hornqvist's goal, he now has ten points his last five games. Predators' captain Shea Weber had the secondary assist, making it his 200th career NHL assist.
A defensive zone breakdown led to the Skinner goal. His shot from the right circle went by Carter Hutton, although it should have been easily stopped.
Alexander Semin's goal at 4:28 in the first period was also weak. Semin shot the puck off Hutton shoulder and in from behind the net.
Hutton made twenty-three saves and isn't winning favor from the Nashville coaching staff.
In the opposing net, Anton Khudobin improves to 5-0-0 in the season with a 1.99 goals against average and .940 save percentage. The aggressive netminder made thirty-one saves in the win at home, including a last second chance by the Predators, which he turned away to the side of the net to seal the victory.
– Goalies will be goalies. Anton Khudobin just made them even more weird than they already are.
Anton Khudobin said he's glad just to be back playing. Said he was so bored when he was injured that he bought Legos and built a truck.
— Michael Smith (@MSmithCanes) January 6, 2014
– Carter Hutton was absolutely brutal between the pipes and now appears to be losing favor from Barry Trotz. Both goals that went in off Hutton were extremely soft and would've been stopped by Marek Mazanec if he was between the pipes. It is sad that those two goals by Semin and Skinner cost the Preds two valuable points in the standings. Per Josh Cooper, Trotz said, "You have to save those. That wasn't much of a shot at all. That's not good enough for this league. He wasn't strong at all."
– It may be time to make some personnel changes. Some players just aren't producing and they should no longer be in the locker room. Maybe we'll see Filip Forsberg return to Nashville Tuesday night, which could spark some offense, but that will not cut it.
CAR 0-1: Alexander Semin – Skinner and Ruutu at 4:28 in the 1st
NSH 1-1: PP Patric Hornqvist – Fisher and Weber at 6:46 in the 3rd
CAR 1-2: Jeff Skinner – Ruutu (2) and Semin at 16:29 in the 3rd
NSH: Carter Hutton (L) – 23 saves on 25 shots; played 58:42
CAR: Anton Khudobin (W) – 31 saves on 32 shots; played 60:00
My Three Stars
1. Anton Khudobin: 31 saves
2. Patric Hornqvist: Goal
3. Jeff Skinner: GWG
Line Up Report
Predators scratches: Clune and Bartley
Predators starters: Spaling, Legwand, Smith, Weber, Josi and Hutton
Hurricanes scratches: Komisarek, E. Staal and Harrison
Hurricanes starters: Bowman, Malhotra, Dvorak, Sekera, Faulk and Khudobin