Jordan Staal scored twice and Nino Niederreiter beat Juuse Saros for the go-ahead goal early in the third period, helping the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Monday night in the first game of the teams’ first-round playoff series.
That broke a 2-all tie as the Hurricanes made their move with a strong final 20 minutes — not to mention a far more physical stretch after the first.
Staal illustrated that with his second goal midway through the second, created partly by his own pressure on the forecheck. After Saros stopped a shot near the post from Warren Foegele, Carolina’s captain gathered the loose puck and pushed it past Saros for a 4-2 lead at the eight-minute mark.
First playoff Surge in team history! <a href=”https://t.co/ccvXLySh8n”>pic.twitter.com/ccvXLySh8n</a>
Andrei Svechnikov added the clinching empty-netter on a breakaway at 18:13 for Carolina. Teuvo Teravainen also scored a first-period goal. Alex Nedeljkovic got the start in net and finished with 22 saves.
Filip Forsberg and Erik Haula scored for the Predators. Saros finished with 33 saves.
The Hurricanes host Game 2 on Wednesday night before the best-of-seven series shifts west to Nashville in neighboring Tennessee.
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