After Pekka Rinne allowed 3 goals in just 6 shots in the first 9:45 of the game, Carter Hutton relieved him and stopped all but 1 of the 22 shots he faced. Hutton’s only previous NHL experience before Thursday also came in St. Louis, when he allowed 3 goals in a loss during the Blackhawks’ final regular season game last season. Hutton lowered his career GAA to 2.20 (from 3.05) and raised his career save percentage to .920 (from .893).
All free agent signings with the exception of the injured Viktor Stalberg saw time in Thursday night’s loss. Eric Nystrom had the secondary assist on Nashville’s first goal. Matt Cullen took Nashville’s first penalty of the season. Matt Hendricks managed 2 shots on net on a surprisingly effective line of he, Paul Gaustad and Rich Clune.
Mattias Ekholm and Seth Jones led all Predators players with a +2. The rookie pairing was on the ice for both Nashville scores. In addition, Jones had 3 shots on net in his NHL debut.
Victor Bartley’s 6 penalty minutes in the season opener equaled his total for the entire 2012-13 season.
The combined age of Nashville’s two goal scorers (Mike Fisher and David Legwand) is 66 years, 4 months and 14 days.
Tonight’s Three Stars (voted by St. Louis media):
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