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Game 1 Preview: Predators vs. Hurricanes

Canes back in the playoffs for the third straight season

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / Hurricanes.com

The Carolina Hurricanes make their third consecutive postseason appearance and begin their quest for Lord Stanley's Cup in Game 1 against the Nashville Predators.


Game 1

(4) Nashville Predators (31-23-2, 64 points) vs. (1) Carolina Hurricanes (36-12-8, 80 points)

Monday, May 17, 8 p.m.

Watch: Bally Sports South, Bally Sports app, CNBC

Listen: 99.9 FM The Fan, Hurricanes.com/Listen, Hurricanes app

PROJECTED LINEUP


Numbers to Know

8: This marks the Canes' eighth playoff appearance in North Carolina and third in the last three years.

3: Three players on the Canes' roster have previously won the Stanley Cup: Cedric Paquette (TB, 2020), Jordan Staal (PIT, 2009) and Teuvo Teravainen (CHI, 2015).

6: Six players on the Canes' roster were members of the Charlotte Checkers team that won the Calder Cup in 2019: Jake Bean, Morgan Geekie, Steven Lorentz, Roland McKeown, Martin Necas and Alex Nedeljkovic.


The Opposition

Last five games: 4-1-0, 8 points
On the road: 13-13-2, 28 points
CAR vs. NSH: 6-2-0
Leading scorer: Roman Josi, 33 points (8g, 25a) in 48 games

The Predators won four of their last five games of the regular season, including the last two against the Canes, to secure their seventh consecutive postseason berth. Goaltender Juuse Saros was a critical piece of Nashville's second-half push. From Feb. 27 on, Saros was 18-6-1 with a 1.88 goals-against average, a .941 save percentage and three shutouts.

FIRST ROUND SERIES PREVIEW


The Season Series

The Canes finished with a 6-2-0 record against the Predators in the eight-game season series. Carolina won the first six games, including one in overtime, before Nashville closed out the regular season with back-to-back wins.

Video: Top plays from Carolina vs. Nashville matchup

"We played them 4 or 5 times without their full lineup. You could tell it was a big difference," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "When they got healthy, they kind of got their game going. I think they were a little bit all over the place, maybe because of the injuries. All of a sudden, the last month or month and a half, that was the team everyone expected to see from the get-go."


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