For both the Carolina Hurricanes and Nashville Predators, Game 1 of the 2021 NHL Playoff series was huge. It was an opportunity to set the tone and make a statement to the opposing team. That was exactly the case for the Hurricanes, who dominated the Predators.
Game 1 Recap
The Canes came out on the strong side during Monday night’s first game of the playoff series. For this team, the win was a very sweet one. During the final two games of the regular season, the Preds defeated the Canes.
Things were looking ok for both teams, as the game was tied up at two apiece all the way into the third period of the match.
It was during the final period of this game that Carolina began playing like a real playoff team.
At first, Carolina took a 1-0 lead against the Preds. Jordan Staal scored a pair of goals and Brett Pesce tossed in a couple of assists to help the team out. All of this made for a strong game played by the Canes.
In addition to playing a strong, physical game, the Canes also prevented the Preds from firing many shots. They were able to confine the Preds to only 14 total shots in the last two periods, so this is certainly a big plus on the Canes’ behalf.
While the Canes extended their lead to 2-1 some time during the game, it was former Canes Erik Haula who tied it up 2-2 on the Preds’ side.
The Canes worked hard, refusing to give up any more goals to the Preds. A pair of goals came in from Teuvo Teravainen and Nino Niederreiter, bringing up the Canes’ morale. Those goals ultimately provided the team with a 4-2 lead.
In the final period, it was Andrei Svechnikov who tossed in an empty net goal for the Canes, extending their lead and eventually winning 5-2 to shake things up in Game 1.
Goods and Bads for the Canes and Preds
Despite the Preds’ losing by three goals, it is safe to say that they tried to play a tough physical match just like the Canes. Consequently, it wasn’t enough. On one good note, they outhit the Canes 56-49. It is apparent that maybe the Preds drifted off and weakened up a little bit on their hockey efficiency sometime in the game to give up three goals like that.
The Canes placed rookie goalie Alex Nedeljkovic in between the pipes. It is likely a decision they won’t regret as the new guy was able to make a total of 22 saves in his first career playoff win in his very first career playoff game.
While the Canes did do a pretty good job, especially in the final period to answer back with three goals, they had to pull back and forth between the Preds during the first two frames of the game. This is in consideration of the fact that Haula did net in a goal to tie things up.
What’s Next for Both Teams?
Tonight (Wednesday, May 19) will be Game 2 for the two teams and both are going to be hungry for a win.
The Canes get another opportunity to dominate the Preds and take a 2-0 series lead, which would definitely be a huge point for the team overall. If they do this, there is no doubt that their confidence will be raised significantly.
On the other hand, the Preds know that this loss is hard. So, they will be pretty fired up for Wednesday night’s big rematch and they will be looking for revenge to tie this series up at one apiece.
The Preds are certainly going to try to fight back harder against the Canes to keep all playoff hopes alive.
In conclusion, the rematch will be a postive and negative on both sides. For the Canes, they will be playing this game on home ice just as they did Monday night. They had a whopping total of 12,000 fans rooting them on.