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Carolina Hurricanes at Nashville Predators: Game three lineups and game discussion

The series will shift to Nashville Friday night, as the Hurricanes look to grab a 3-0 series lead with Alex Nedeljkovic in net once again.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Nashville Predators at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

So far, so good for the Carolina Hurricanes this postseason, as the Canes will take a 2-0 lead into Friday night’s game three as their first-round series with the Predators shifts to Nashville.

After winning game one 5-2 behind a two-goal effort from Jordan Staal, the Canes took game two 3-0 as rookie netminder Alex Nedeljkovic posted his first career postseason shutout.

Now the Hurricanes will hit the road for the first time, looking to take a complete stranglehold on the series in game three Friday night. For the third straight game it will be Nedeljkovic in net for the Hurricanes, as the rookie is making the most of his first postseason so far.

The one question mark on the ice for the Canes Friday will be the availability of Jaccob Slavin, the elite defenseman who played in game one but missed game two with injury. If Slavin can’t go Friday, it’ll be the playoff debut for Max Lajoie on the blue line.

Here’s how the Canes will lineup Friday night if Slavin can’t go:

Andrei Svechnikov - Sebastian Aho - Teuvo Teravainen
Nino Niederreiter - Vincent Trocheck - Martin Necas
Warren Foegele - Jordan Staal - Jesper Fast
Jordan Martinook - Steven Lorentz - Brock McGinn

Brady Skjei - Dougie Hamilton
Jake Bean - Brett Pesce
Max Lajoie - Jani Hakanpaa

Alex Nedeljkovic
Petr Mrazek

Injuries and Scratches: Cedric Paquette (lower body), Jaccob Slavin (lower body), Antoine Bibeau, Jake Gardiner, Morgan Geekie, Joey keane, Max McCormick, Roland McKeown, James Reimer, Joakim Ryan, Drew Shore, Ryan Suzuki

Friday night’s game three is in must-win territory for the Nashville Predators, who will look to take advantage of their home ice and home crowd to try and get back into this series.

Filip Forsberg and Erik Haula both tallied goals in game one in Raleigh, but the Preds were blanked by Nedeljkovic Wednesday night in game two. Juuse Saros has allowed seven goals in two games in Nashville’s net, but his play has been solid and should play Friday, though that has not been confirmed.

Calle Jarnkrok, Nashville’s leading goal scorer in the regular season, missed game two with a non-COVID illness, but will return for game three. Eeli Tolvanen, who slotted in for Jarnkrok in game two, will also be in the lineup.

It’s hard to say exactly how Nashville will line up with no other lineup announcements, but here’s how John Hynes’ team could hit the ice Friday (very subject to change):

Filip Forsberg - Ryan Johansen - Viktor Arvidsson
Calle Jarnkrok - Mikael Granlund - Luke Kunin
Eeli Tolvanen - Erik Haula - Matt Duchene
Yakov Trenin - Colton Sissons - Tanner Jeannot

Roman Josi - Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm - Alexandre Carrier
Matt Benning - Erik Gudbranson

Juuse Saros
Pekka Rinne

Injuries and Scratches: Tyler Lewington, Brad Richardson, Rem Pitlick, Ben Harpur, Nick Cousins, David Farrance, Rocco Grimaldi, Mathieu Olivier, Jeremy Davies, Michael McCarron, Dante Fabbro