Carolina Hurricanes\' Joni Pitkanen (25), of Finland, and goalie Cam Ward (30) defend the goal as Nashville Predators\' Gabriel Bourque (57) tries to score during the first period of a preseason NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, Sept. 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
RALEIGH, N.C. - Jack Hillen and Chris Mueller scored in the third period to rally the Nashville Predators to a 3-2 pre-season victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night.
Hillen and Mueller scored 1:37 apart against Carolina backup goalkeeper Justin Peters, who entered the game at the start of the third.
Alexei Ponikarovsky had two goals for Carolina. The free-agent pickup scored on a wraparound 31 seconds into the first period and on a rebound of Eric Staal's shot 17 seconds into the third period.
Carolina goalkeeper Cam Ward saw his first action of the pre-season after being slowed by upper body stiffness since the opening of training camp a week ago. Ward started and played 40 minutes. He gave up a goal to Nashville's David Legwand at 17:58 of the second period.
Anders Lindback came off the bench in goal for the Predators and played the final two periods. He stopped 20 of 21 shots to get the win.
Nashville won for the third time in four pre-season games, while Carolina dropped its second straight decision.