The Predators haven‘t won a game against the Hurricanes since the 2015-2016 season, for no reason other than the Preds consistently put forth a weak effort each time they play them. Despite being one of the most arbitrary Eastern Conference teams the Preds face each year, the Canes have been this team's kryptonite.
That all changed last night in Carolina when the Preds and Pekka Rinne, who had a 3.06 GAA per game prior to tonight, secured a 3-0 shutout win over the Hurricanes.
The Preds' bottom forward lines trended positively last night; Rocco Grimaldi, Calle Jarnkrok, and Austin Watson were responsible for all three goals scored. As insane as it may sound, Yannick Weber and Dan Hamhuis were the only two Predators to record a +2 on-ice rating last night.
Despite getting four power play chances throughout the game, the Preds were unable to convert any of them. The power play percentage has now slipped to 22nd overall in the league with just a 16.85 percent conversion rate. But once again, the Preds killed all of the opposition's power plays as well. So now, instead of being dead last in the league in penalty kill percentage, the Preds are now third-worst with a 73.75 percent kill rate.
With the 31-save shutout, Rinne's GAA improved to 2.84 per game and his save percentage bumped up to a .898.
The Preds' special teams clearly still has a long way to go. Even given their recent success, a coaching change should not be put out of the question. That being said, a win is a win, and a shutout is a shutout. And for that, we can be thankful.
The Preds take on the Panthers in Miami tonight to complete their first back-to-back series this season.