RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Rookie goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic, starting a postseason game for only the second time, made 32 saves Wednesday in a 3-0 shutout win over Nashville, leading the Hurricanes to a 2-0 series lead.
Sebastian Aho’s power-play goal in the first period proved to be the decisive marker. He and Warren Foegele each scored in the final minute of the game to seal the deal.
Carolina got going 8 minutes into the game when Andrei Svechnikov skated in from the left point on the power play and fed Aho instead of going for the shot. Aho had a wide-open net in front of him and blasted the puck first time to see the ‘Canes to a 1-0 lead.
The next 50-plus minutes went by with little give on either side. The Predators had seven chances on the power play, but Carolina — which had the NHL’s third-best penalty kill in the regular season — gave them nothing.
The ‘Canes out-hit the Predators 52-38.
Aho all but sealed the win by scoring on an empty net with 53 seconds left. Warren Foegele made it 3-0 shortly after when his shot in tight deflected off of Ryan Ellis’ skate and past Juuse Saros.
The ‘Canes and Predators will take the series to Nashville for the third and fourth games. Puck drop on Friday is set for 7 p.m.