Raleigh, NC -- The Carolina Hurricanes and the Nashville Predators play Game Two of their best-of-seven series tonight.
Carolina took a 1-0 series lead on Monday, notching a 5-2 victory over the Predators. Jordan Staal led Carolina with two goals.
The Hurricanes welcomed back their fans on Monday night. A crowd of 12,000 cheered the team on for the first home playoff game since May 2019.
"It was awesome," Canes' forward Warren Foegele said of Monday's crowd. "They were amazing; they made [me] think of a few years ago when we were in the playoffs, [and] of how loud this building can get."
The fans weren't the only ones who returned on Monday. Several players who sat out the season finale in Nashville returned to the lineup for Game One. None more important than Jaccob Slavin.
Slavin logged 21:35 of ice time on Monday--tops on the team--despite being a game-time decision. Overall it was a solid performance from the stalwart of the Carolina defence. Slavin tallied 4 hits and was plus-1 on the evening.
Canes' head coach Rod Brind'Amour spoke Wednesday about how he wants to keep his team focused and not face a letdown from the high of winning one game.
"We have to be sharp on everything we do," Brind'Amour said. "We know we have enough skill and talent to win...But to be successful, we have to [stick to our game plan]."
One area the Canes will be looking to improve in Game Two will be their powerplay. Carolina went 0 for 5 in Game One. Brind'Amour might look to alter the personnel if neither unit connects with the man-advantage early.
Two of the key players on the powerplay, Andrei Svechnikov and Sebastian Aho, got plenty of looks in Game One. Svechnikov registered eight shots on goal, and Aho had seven.
Aho spoke on Wednesday about staying patient after not getting a goal in the first game of the playoffs.
"We're going to just try to do our job, play the right way, our way," Aho said. "Part of it is being patient, not getting frustrated...we did a good job in Game One, but Game One is behind us. We have to look at tonight's game."
Brind'Amour noted on Wednesday afternoon that he doesn't expect any changes to the lineup from Monday. However, he did mention that Slavin is once again a game-time decision.
That means Alex Nedeljkovic will once again be the starting netminder for the Canes. Monday's win was the first NHL playoff victory for Nedeljkovic. The 25-year-old Ohio native has now won seven of his last nine starts.
Nashville will stick with Juuse Saros in net. The 26-year-old Finn gave up four goals in Game One, the most for him since April 27 when he let in six against the Florida Panthers.
The Canes' expected lines:
Andrei Svechnikov — Sebastian Aho — Teuvo Teravainen
Nino Niederreiter — Vincent Trocheck — Martin Necas
Warren Foegele — Jordan Staal — Jesper Fast
Jordan Martinook — Steven Lorentz — Brock McGinn
Jaccob Slavin — Dougie Hamilton
Brady Skjei — Brett Pesce
Jake Bean — Jani Hakanpaa
Scratches: Jake Gardiner, James Reimer, Max McCormick, Drew Shore, Morgan Geekie, Cedric Paquette, Joakim Ryan, Ronald McKeown, Maxim Lajoie
Nashville's expected lines:
Filip Forsberg — Ryan Johansen — Viktor Arvidsson
Calle Jarnkrok — Mikael Granlund — Luke Kunin
Tanner Jeannot — Erik Haula — Matt Duchene
Yakov Trenin — Colton Sissons — Mathieu Olivier
Roman Josi — Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm — Alexandre Carrier
Ben Harpur — Erik Gudbranson
Scratches: Eeli Tolvanen, Brad Richardson, Dante Fabbro