Jordan Staal scored 2:03 into overtime to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-2 victory in Game 5 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series with the Nashville Predators on Tuesday in Raleigh, N.C.
After losing two double-overtime games in Nashville in Games 3 and 4, it was the Hurricanes’ turn to triumph beyond regulation and take a 3-2 lead in the Central Division series. Staal batted a rebound out of the air for the second postseason overtime winner of his 15-year career.
It was Staal’s team-leading fourth goal of the playoffs, and it gained some redemption for the Hurricanes’ captain after a goal was disallowed in the second period. Staal had seemingly redirected Jaccob Slavin’s shot over the line; but, after a video review, referees waved off the score due to goalie interference.
Martin Necas scored Carolina’s two other goals, including the tying score 12:55 into the third period. Necas took the puck at center ice and raced behind the Nashville net, quickly turning the puck back inside the post for the brilliant wrap-around effort.
Yakov Trenin scored both Nashville goals, his first two career postseason scores.
Juuse Saros stopped 34 of 37 shots, again keeping the Predators in the game despite a flurry of shots from Carolina. Over the last three games, Saros has stopped 144 of 154 shots.
At 11:44 of the first period, Roman Josi’s booming shot from near the blue line deflected off Trenin’s raised stick and into the net.
Carolina equalized less than three minutes later, on a power play. Necas scored his first goal of the postseason, snapping a shot from inside the circle past Saros.
The Predators regained the lead just 53 seconds after the first intermission. A turnover in Nashville’s end sprung Trenin and Colton Sissons down the ice on a two-on-one, with Trenin burying Sissons’ pass for his second marker of the game.
Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 23 of 25 shots for the victory.
Slavin returned to Carolina’s lineup after missing the previous three games with a lower-body injury.
The Predators are 0-7-1 in Raleigh this season in regular-season and playoff games. Game 6 is Thursday in Nashville.
–Field Level Media