Originally posted on Fox Sports Tennessee  |  Last updated 3/1/12
The last game of a tough stretch is always the hardest one to win. This is why it was difficult to expect the Predators to beat the Hurricanes on Tuesday. Nashville lost 4-3 in its fifth game in the last week. It was also the second game of a back-to-back. The Predators arrived in Raleigh on Tuesday morning because of a flight delay due to bad weather. Still, they came close to defeating the Hurricanes and had a few chances with the goaltender pulled in the final minute. At the moment, it's tough to tell how Nashville's newest acquisitions will pan out. Right winger Andrei Kostitsyn played only 12:13. He didn't have a practice under his belt with the Predators leading up to the game and was shuffled around in the lineup. Center Paul Gaustad sat out the game with an "upper body" issue. He will likely fit in on Nashville's third or fourth line. Most important, in this stretch of five games, the Predators picked up a total of seven points. On top of that, Nashville can rest goaltender Pekka Rinne until Saturday. Nashville's starting netminder, who didn't play Tuesday, leads the NHL in games played. Saturday, the Predators will take on some familiar faces in the Florida Panthers, who have several former Nashville players: center Jerred Smithson, center Marcel Goc and right winger Mike Santorelli. NOTES, QUOTES Nashville coach Barry Trotz decided to bring newly acquired RW Andrei Kostitsyn along slowly in his first game. The former Montreal Canadien played 12:13 Tuesday and was shifted around on different lines. Following the game, Trotz said there will be some level of adjustment from Kostitsyn to Nashville. "He's going to have to work on pace. Obviously Montreal plays a lot different than us," Trotz said. "Montreal plays more of a backup control type of game. He's going to have to adjust there, but you could see he could do some things." The Predators were without C Paul Gaustad on his first day as a Predator. Gaustad, whom Nashville acquired from Buffalo on Monday, sat out with an "upper body" issue. Nashville said the problem was minor and expected him in the lineup Saturday against Florida. "What I want to do is get as acclimated to the team as quick as I can, learn the system as quickly as possible, but I know it's going to take patience and time so just slowly get into it," Gaustad said. "It's a video, there's different ways to learn it. Video is going to help, and practicing with the team is going to help. Jumping into a game is the best way to learn." LW Gabriel Bourque had quite a bit of jump for the Predators. The rookie scored a goal and added an assist in 11:35, and he was considered the team's spark plug Tuesday. Bourque's third-period goal got Nashville to within one. "Every game is important now, so we can't lose a game. Every game, I have to take everything in my body to get ready for the game," Bourque said. QUOTE TO NOTE "We almost pulled it out. We were urgent in the third. When you add the urgency in the game, you see the difference in the play." -- coach Barry Trotz. ROSTER REPORT G Anders Lindback lost his sixth straight decision. In his seventh start of the season, Lindback made 29 saves on 33 shots. RW Andrei Kostitsyn played 12:13 in his first game with the Predators. He did not record a shot on goal. Kostitsyn has been held pointless in his last 10 games. C David Legwand recorded an assist Tuesday and has six points in his last six games. He is a plus-2 in that stretch.
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