Nashville Predators clinch playoff spot with 3-1 win over Carolina Hurricanes

Mike Organ
Nashville Tennessean

The Nashville Predators are back in the playoffs for the seventh consecutive year and got there by beating one of the best teams in the NHL.

Nashville knocked off the Carolina Hurricanes, who have already clinched the No. 1 seed in the Central Division, 3-1 Saturday night.

The Predators (30-23-2) secured fourth place in Central Division by claiming their sixth win in their last seven games at Bridgestone Arena.

The regular season ends Monday night with another game against the Hurricanes at Bridgestone Arena.

It was Nashville’s first win this season against Carolina (36-11-8) after six losses.

It was the Hurricanes' first loss in regulation in 13 games.

Luke Kunin scored both of Nashville’s goals – the first midway through the second period and the second with 12:19 left in regulation, which put the Predators up 2-0.

Kunin’s first score came off a pass from Mikael Grunland. Kunin skated in front of the net and flipped the puck in backhanded.

His second goal was a shot in the top corner over the glove of Hurricane’s goalie Alex Nedeljkovic.

Kunin has six goals in his last nine games and 10 in 38 games.

Morgan Geekie got Carolina on the board two minutes after Kunin’s second goal.

Erik Haula scored an empty-net goal for Nashville with 1:03 remaining.

Even though the Hurricanes had already clinched the division championship they played their full lineup.