Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal (11) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Nashville Predators during the second period in Game 3 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series Friday, May 21, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Matt Duchene scores in 2 OT, Predators beat Hurricanes 5-4

Matt Duchene scores in 2 OT, Predators beat Hurricanes 5-4

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Matt Duchene scored at 14:54 of the second overtime and the Nashville Predators beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 on Friday night to cut their series deficit to 2-1.

Now the Predators, 0-5 after trailing 2-0 in a best-of-seven series, will try to tie it up Sunday in Game 4.

Duchene scored his first goal of the series in the longest game yet of this postseason. Roman Josi flipped the puck to Duchene, who skated up the slot and flipped the puck over Alex Nedeljkovic for the victory.

Nashville is 4-3 in games going two or more overtimes.

Nashville’s Eeli Tolvanen hit the post 38 seconds into the only power play of overtime.

Ryan Ellis had a goal and two assists, and Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg and Mikael Granlund also scored for Nashville. Juuse Saros had his first career assist and tied the franchise record with 52 saves for only his second postseason victory.

Sebastian Aho had a goal and two assists for Carolina, and Jordan Staal, Vincent Trocheck and Brett Pesce also scored.

Johansen put Nashville up 4-3 at5:01 of the third, redirecting a shot by Ellis. But Pesce tied it with 3:21 left in regulation with a snap shot near the high slot.

Nashville had its biggest crowd in well over a year with capacity expanded to 12,135 for the playoffs, a move quickly followed by Carolina easing its restrictions for Game 1. Keith Urban sang the national anthem, and he and wife/actor Nicole Kidman were on the band stage during the first intermission.

Ellis’ wrister from the right boards through traffic put the Predators up 1-0 at 4:35 of the first period. It was Ellis’ first of this series but the seventh of his career, trailing only Shea Weber (13) and current captain Josi (10) for most among Predators defensemen.

Aho tied it up with his third goal of the series at 15:44. Aho shot the puck, which went off Josi’s backside and off Saros’ glove in the kind of luck the Preds didn’t need to go against them.

The Predators went up 2-1 when Mattias Ekholm flipped the puck that Forsberg tracked down in the left circle before beating Alex Nedeljkovic with a backhander with 24.5 seconds left in the first.

Staal tied it at 3:31 with his third goal this series on a breakaway, beating Saros with a wrister. Trocheck gave the Hurricanes their first lead of the game 13 seconds into their second power play of the second period with a wrister from a tough angle, squeezing the puck between the post and Saros at 12:46 for a 3-2 lead.

POWER OUTAGE

Nashville is 1 of 17 in the series on the man advantage. Coach John Hynes switched up his players on the power-play unit, and the Predators got their best chance of the series with 90 seconds of a 5-on-3 at 14:05 of the second.

Warren Foegele already was in the box for putting the puck over the glass when Staal joined him for tripping at 14:05. Granlund tied it 37 seconds later, tapping the puck in with Nedeljkovic flat on his back.

Carolina had killed 29 of its last 30 penalties over the final eight regular-season games and the first two of this series.

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Follow Teresa M. Walker at https://twitter.com/TeresaMWalker

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Teresa M. Walker, The Associated Press

NHL

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