Nashville at Carolina

    Former Hurricane Vasicek scores winner against champs


    RALEIGH, N.C. -- Josef Vasicek scored on a short-handed breakaway late in the third period Friday night to lead the Nashville Predators to a 5-4 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

    Kim Staal scored twice for the Predators (2-1), who won their second straight preseason game.

    Ray Whitney scored two goals to lead the Hurricanes, who returned to the ice for the first time since winning the Stanley Cup three months ago.

    The big scorer for the Predators was Staal, a 28-year-old left wing who played in Sweden last season. But Vasicek made the biggest play to stun his former team, which traded him to the Predators for forward Scott Walker in July.

    With the Hurricanes on a brief power play, the Predators got a short-handed push up ice with Scott Hartnell finding Vasicek, who beat Cam Ward at 18:55 of the third.

    It hardly seemed like much of a summer break for the Hurricanes, who beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 in Game 7 of the finals on June 19. They had the enviable problem of trying to cram in countless celebrations and travels with the Cup while the front office had a busy offseason trying to keep together the core of the championship team.

    Several members of that group sat out, including 100-point star Eric Staal and Justin Williams. They were also without winger Cory Stillman and defenseman Frantisek Kaberle, who are recovering from shoulder surgeries that are expected to keep them out for several months.

    The Predators got off to a quick start, with Staal scoring twice in the opening 3:47 to help the Predators take a 3-0 lead. The Hurricanes -- showing a knack for comebacks that they had throughout last year -- answered with three straight to tie it on Andrew Ladd's score at 8:39 of the second.

    After the Predators took the lead on Ramzi Abid's goal midway through the second, Whitney scored on the power play to tie it again with about eight minutes left.

    The teams will play the second half of a home-and-home set Saturday, but do not meet in the regular season.

    Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
    Nashville «3115

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    Scoring Summary
    1:41Kim Staal - Assist: Jordin Tootoo
    3:36Scott Nichol - Assists: Scott Hartnell and Ville Koistinen
    3:47Kim Staal - Assists: Jordin Tootoo and Vernon Fiddler
    6:39Ray Whitney - Assists: Erik Cole and Mike Commodore
    12:34Shane Willis - Assists: Cale Hulse and Brad Isbister
    8:39Power Play - Andrew Ladd - Assists: Shane Willis and Jason Woolley
    13:57Ramzi Abid - Assists: Ryan Suter and Josef Vasicek
    11:51Power Play - Ray Whitney - Assists: Rod Brind'Amour and Andrew Ladd
    18:55Josef Vasicek - Assists: Scott Hartnell and Kevin Klein
    Penalty Summary
    10:04Shane Endicott: tripping - minor
    13:58Jason Woolley: high-sticking - minor
    15:17Cale Hulse: hooking - minor
    18:37Sheldon Brookbank: hooking - minor
    19:33Brad Isbister: holding - minor
    19:59Greg Zanon: holding - minor
    2:28Greg Zanon: interference - minor
    8:23Mikko Lehtonen: hooking - minor
    19:30Oleg Tverdovsky: hooking - minor
    10:26Mikko Lehtonen: tripping - minor
    13:48Scott Nichol: hooking - minor
    16:02Ray Whitney: high-sticking - minor
    16:38Erik Cole: hooking - minor
    16:59Mikko Lehtonen: hooking - minor
    Nashville121013 35
    Carolina1157 23
    Attendance - 10548
    Game Time - 60:00
    Referees - Dan O'Rourke, Don Van Massenhoven
    Line Judges - Derek Amell, Brad Kovachik
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