NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WNCN) – Nashville’s 54th shot of the game came after Matt Duchene got a step on Carolina’s defense and was able to beat Alex Nedeljkovic with a flip over his glove. It came in double overtime and gave the Predators a 5-4 win Friday that cut Carolina’s series lead to 2-1.
Brett Pesce tied the game with 3:21 left in regulation when his wrist shot from near the blue line snuck under the arm of Nashville goalie Juuse Saros. Nedeljkovic had to make a stop in the waning moments of the period to ensure the game would go to overtime.
The Predators were first on the board in Friday’s seesaw affair. Ryan Ellis scored less than 5 minutes in, much to the delight of a raucous Nashville crowd. Sebastian Aho’s third goal of the series actually deflected off of Roman Josi and knotted the game at 1-1 with 4:16 left in the opening period.
Filip Forsberg scored with 25 seconds to go to send the Predators into intermission with a lead.
Early in the second, a blocked point shot in the defensive zone turned into a breakaway. Warren Foegele chipped the puck up ice to captain Jordan Staal, who picked a corner on Saros for his third goal in as many games, tying the game at 2-2.
Carolina took its first lead of the game less than 10 minutes later. Vincent Trocheck, from a sharp angle, wired the puck into the only bit of daylight on the nearside — just between the post and Saros’ cheek.
Nashville responded about 2 minutes later by scoring on a two-man advantage. After going 0-for-7 on the power play in Game 2, Mikael Granlund jumped on a puck in the crease and tucked it past Nedeljkovic.
Ryan Johnansen restored Nashville’s lead with a goal 5:01 into the third.
The first overtime saw each team enjoy extended periods of offensive pressure. The Predators had the greater share of chances down the stretch, including a shot that rang off the post with 6:36 left.
Aho had a goal and two assists for the ‘Canes. Ellis had the same for Nashville.
Nedeljkovic made 49 stops on 54 shots. Saros stopped 52 of the 56 he faced.
After playing an extra half a hockey game’s worth of overtime, Carolina and Nashville turn around for Game 4 Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Game 5 will be Tuesday in Raleigh, but a start time has not been announced.