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Preview: Nashville Predators vs. Carolina Hurricanes 5/8/21: Clinching

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I’d like to see something positive against Carolina, please?

Nashville Predators v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

Nashville Predators

Just win the damn game. Play a full 60 minutes, attack through the neutral zone (a struggle this season), and defend the ice in front of Juuse Saros.

Going into the final two games of the season, the Predators have some “meh” numbers from their players but some incredible numbers from Juuse Saros to boast.

Saros has shouldered the load for the Predators since his return from injury, but it’s clear some fatigue might be creeping in. Over 34 games, Saros has a .927 Sv%.

Roman Josi leads the Predators in points with 33 (8 goals, 25 assists). Filip Forsberg, recently back in the lineup, has 31 points (12 goals, 19 assists). Forsberg doesn’t seem to be due for any kind of “big” season at this point in his career - he is always derailed by injuries. Calle Jarnkrok, the Swedish army knife, has 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists).

Carolina Hurricanes

The Canes just split a series against the Blackhawks, losing the second of the pair of games in overtime. They’re a tough team and they will be a stiff first-round matchup, no matter how the cards fall for the Central playoff spot.

Sebastian Aho leads the Hurricanes in points with 57 (24 goals, 33 assists). Vincent Trocheck has 43 points (17 goals, 26 assists). Dougie Hamilton leads defensemen with 42 points (10 goals, 32 assists). I’m drooling over those numbers because no one in Nashville has anything close to these stats. Sigh.

Rookie goalie Alex Nedeljkovic has been a phenomenal force in net for the Canes. Over 22 games, he has a .932 Sv%. Nedeljkovic is a breath of fresh air after years of so-so goaltending from Petr Mrazek and James Reimer.

Reasons to Watch

-Clinching!!! Also possibly clenching.

-The battle of the 20-somethings goaltenders?

-Filip Forsberg and Eeli Tolvanen are due for a big game. Is that tonight?

Tonight’s Theme Song

How to Watch

Home ice, 7:00 Central. BSSO has the broadcast and 102.5 The Game has the radio call.