Staal’s overtime winner lifts Hurricanes past Predators 3-2

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)Jordan Staal scored off a rebound at 2:03 of overtime to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night for a 3-2 lead in the first-round playoff series.

Staal was jostling with Nashville’s Ryan Johansen for position just outside the crease when Brett Pesce fired a shot toward Juuse Saros on a 4-on-4 sequence. Saros made the stop and poked the puck forward, but Carolina’s captain batted the puck out of the air and past Saros to seal the win.

Staal’s score ended what was the third straight game to go to extra time, with the Predators winning a pair of grueling double-overtime contests in Games 3 and 4 in the best-of-seven series. This one, however, moved the Hurricanes within a win of closing it out and advancing in the postseason.

They’ll get that chance on the road in Game 6 on Thursday night.

Martin Necas scored twice for Hurricanes. Yakov Trenin had two goals for Nashville.

Juuse Saros finished with 34 saves for Nashville. Alex Nedeljkovic had 23 saves for Carolina.

MAPLE LEAFS 4, CANADIENS 0

MONTREAL (AP) – Jack Campbell made 32 saves in his first playoff shutout, Alex Galchenyuk set up two goals and scored into the empty net against his former team, and Toronto beat Montreal for a 3-1 lead in their first-round series.

Jason Spezza had a goal and an assist and William Nylander and Joe Thornton also scored for Toronto, which can wrap up the best-of-seven series at home Thursday in Game 5. Alexander Kerfoot had three assists.

Carey Price stopped 24 shots for Montreal. The Canadiens have scored just four times in 12 periods against Campbell in the first playoff series between the teams since 1979.

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