Mueller keeps scoring as Predators get past Hurricanes

Friday, September 23, 2011 at 10:47pm
Staff reports

Chris Mueller scored for the third time in as many preseason appearances as the Nashville Predators rallied for a 3-2 victory Friday at Carolina.

The 25-year-old center scored the game-winner at 7:00 of the final period, 97 seconds after defenseman Jack Hillen tied it.

Both goals came against backup goalie Justin Peters, who replaced veteran Cam Ward at the start of the third period.

David Legwand was the only Nashville player to score against Ward. He did so — and tied it 1-1 — with 2:02 to play in the second period.

Carolina went back on top on Alex Ponikarovsky’s goal against Jeremy Smith 31 seconds into the final period. The Hurricanes took a 1-0 lead when Ponikarovsky scored on starter Anders Lindback 31 seconds into the contest.

Lindback made 20 saves over the first two periods, and Smith added eight stops.

Mueller scored once in Nashville’s preseason opener, a 5-3 victory Monday at Florida. He followed that with a goal and an assist the next day in a 2-0 victory over Washington.

He had 24 goals in 67 appearances for Milwaukee last season — his third as a professional — but had no goals and just three assists in 15 NHL contests with the Predators.

Nashville play its first home game of the preseason when it hosts the Winnipeg Jets (formerly the Atlanta Thrashers) 7 p.m. Saturday at Bridgestone Arena.