The Carolina Hurricanes will face the Nashville Predators in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Predators nabbed a playoff berth with a 3-1 win over the Hurricanes on Saturday.
The Hurricanes are 6-1-0 against the Predators this season; the teams finish their regular season schedule against each other on Monday.
“We talked about it before, it could be almost a better in nine series,” said the Predators defenseman Romain Josi mentionned. “These are big games. I mean you saw it tonight, it was a really physical game. Both teams wanted to make a statement. Obviously for us it was to enter the playoffs. “
A start date for the playoffs has not been announced.
“You still want to play at home”, the Carolina forward Jesper Fast mentionned. “If you look at our record this year, we had a very good home record (20-3-5), so of course that’s an advantage for us. Of course, this shows what a great accomplishment we have made so far. year, but at the end of the day you want to be the last team standing and that’s what we’re focusing on right now. We hope it will be a good trip here when the playoffs begin. “
Attackers Facebook Facebook logo Sign up for Facebook to connect with Sebastian Aho (five goals, three assists) and Vincent Trocheck (three goals, five assists) lead the Hurricanes with eight points apiece against the Predators, and forward Andrei Svechnikov (three goals, four assists) and defender Dougie Hamilton (one goal, six assists) each scored seven points.
James Reimer is 3-0-0 (goals against average of 1.67, save percentage of 0.952), Alex Nedeljkovic is 2-1-0 (1.64 GAA, .938 save percentage), and Petr Mrazek made 19 saves in a 4-1 win on April 15.
“I mean we know what they’re doing,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “They made a little adjustment on a couple of things that we noticed. I don’t think there are a lot of secrets. We hope we are healthy and get a few guys back, which will be good. I think the process is what it is. We have to get their first, get through the next game, and then revive it. “
Defender Mattias Ekholm (one goal, three assists) scored four points against the Hurricanes this season. Defender Dante Fabbro (three passes) and forward Erik Haula (two goals, one assist) each scored three points. Nashville has scored 12 goals from 10 players in the season series.
Saros Hair is 1-2-0 with a GAA of 2.73 and a save percentage of 0.917, and Pekka Rinne is 0-3-1 with a GAA of 3.76 and a save percentage of 0.878.
The teams have never faced each other in the playoffs.
“It’s a hell of a hockey team,” said Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis mentionned. ” They work. They have skills. I can’t say enough about them. They are a great hockey team. I think we are a bit similar. Both teams bury their heads and work and work and work. fun series. I think tonight that’s what you hope to get out of this team, from us, because we want it and we’re working for it. “
Aho leads the Hurricanes with 57 points (24 goals, 33 assists). Four others scored at least 40 points; Trocheck, 43 years old; Svechnikov, 42 years old; Hamilton, 42; and forward Martin Necas, 41. Reimer is 15-5-2 with a 2.66 GAA and .906 save percentage in 22 games (21 starts). Nedeljkovic is 15-5-3 with a GAA of 1.90, save percentage of .932 and three shutouts in 23 games. Mrazek is 6-1-3 with a GAA of 1.77, save percentage of .934 and three shutouts in 11 games.
Nashville is led by Josi (33 points; eight goals, 25 assists) and forwards Filip Forsberg (31 points; 12 goals, 19 assists) and Jarnkrok Street (28 points; 13 goals, 15 assists). Attackers Mikael Granlund (13 buts), Eeli Tolvanen (11) and Viktor Arvidsson (10 goals) are the other Predators with at least 10 goals.
Saros is 21-11-1 with a 2.28 goals-against average, .927 save percentage and three shutouts in 36 games (35 starts). Rinne is 9-12-1 with a GAA of 2.97 and save percentage of 0.902 in 23 games (20 starts).
Carolina beat the New York Rangers in three games in the best of five Stanley Cup playoffs last season before losing to the Boston Bruins in five games in the Eastern Conference first round.
Nashville was beaten by the Arizona Coyotes in four playoff games.
NHL.com Independent Correspondent Robby Stanley contributed to this report