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With win streak ended, Hurricanes move on to Predators

Dec 20, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA;  Carolina Hurricanes center Martin Necas (88) against the New Jersey Devils during the second period at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

With the Carolina Hurricanes’ franchise-best streaks for wins and points ended, the club now will look to come out on top in 2023 when they play host to the Nashville Predators on Thursday at Raleigh, N.C.

The Hurricanes’ franchise records of 11 consecutive wins and 17 consecutive games with a point were halted in Tuesday night’s 5-3 road loss to the New York Rangers.

“We’ve had something pretty special the last few weeks, so we’ll try and forget about this one, move on and then try to get another streak going,” Hurricanes defenseman Brady Skjei said.

The Hurricanes led 3-2 going to the third period, when the Rangers piled on with three goals.

“We weren’t really very good in the third,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “(The end of the streak) was going to happen at some point and we’re still going in the third and we had a chance to win the game. Not great on our part.

“Got to be better if we’re going to win on a consistent pace like we have been, so that game was not indicative of the way we’ve played but we were still right there until the end.”

A lot was accomplished during the streak for Carolina, which moved into the top spot in the Metropolitan Division. Forward Martin Necas pushed his goals total to a career-high 17.

The Predators will begin a five-game road trip. They are coming off Tuesday’s 6-3 victory against the Montreal Canadiens.

Nashville has scored four or more goals in three consecutive games.

“I feel the goals are coming throughout the lineup,” said Predators winger Nino Niederreiter, a member of the Hurricanes during each of the past four seasons. “I feel like we do a better and better job each and every night. Everybody is on the same page now.”

Niederreiter had three assists against the Canadiens.

Scoring depth has started to develop for the Predators.

“It’s important,” coach John Hynes said. “I think when you have that it’s a recipe to be able to win regularly where it doesn’t put so much pressure on certain guys to be able to score. I think when you have depth scoring and your lineup it certainly gives your team the best chance to win on a regular basis.”

Putting together a Hurricanes-type winning streak might be to much to ask, but the Predators are looking to be rewarded for some improved play.

“We know exactly what we need to do and we know where we stand in the standings, and it’s about winning hockey games right now,” Niederreiter said. “And I think that’s been clicking in everyone’s head. We’ve got to get wins soon to climb the ladder.”

The Hurricanes have choices at goalie. Rookie Pyotr Kochetkov hadn’t played since Dec. 20 before taking a spot in net for Tuesday night’s rare defeat.

“He’ll bounce back,” Brind’Amour said.

In the meantime, goalie Antti Raanta recorded a pair of shutouts and kept the winning streak going.

The Hurricanes might not have forward Stefan Noesen available after he left Tuesday night’s game in the first period with a lower-body injury. He has eight goals this season.

Nashville and Carolina won’t meet again until April.

–Field Level Media