Nashville Predators vs. Carolina Hurricanes: Everything you need to know about the NHL first round playoff series

Nick Gray
Nashville Tennessean

The Nashville Predators are back in the Stanley Cup Playoffs again, and will face the Carolina Hurricanes in a postseason series for the first time.

Nashville's playoffs streak is now at seven seasons, though the last two have ended in disappointing losses in the opening round. 

But the context around this series will be different than the losses to Dallas in 2019 and Arizona in 2020. The Predators are the underdogs and the higher seed this season against Carolina, the regular season winners of the Central Division, and fared so-so against the Hurricanes during the season (2-5-1 record).

Here's everything you need to know about the Predators and Hurricanes in the first round of the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs.

Nashville Predators vs. Carolina Hurricanes NHL playoffs first round schedule, with TV and game times

Best of seven series; all times Central.

Game 1:  Hurricanes 5, Predators 2

Game 2:  Hurricanes 3, Predators 0

Game 3:  Predators 5, Hurricanes 4 in 2OT

Game 4:  (Sunday, May 23) Hurricanes at Predators, 1:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network and Bally Sports South

Game 5 (if necessary):  (Tuesday, May 25) Predators at Hurricanes, TBD

Game 6 (if necessary):  (Thursday, May 27) Hurricanes at Predators, TBD

Game 7 (if necessary):  (Saturday, May 29) Predators at Hurricanes, TBD

Hurricanes vs. Hurricanes lines, pairs, starting goaltenders

Click here for Game 3 lineups, goaltenders and scratches for both teams.

Bridgestone Arena capacity?

The Predators and Bridgestone Arena recently announced an expanded capacity of 12,135, or 70% of full capacity at Bridgestone, for the playoffs. The Hurricanes, FWIW, also will have a capacity around 12,000 for the series at PNC Arena.

Nashville Predators center Matt Duchene (95) celebrates as he scores a goal to beat the Carolina Hurricanes in double overtime at Bridgestone Arena, Friday, May 21, 2021.

Nashville Predators vs. Carolina Hurricanes NHL playoffs news

GENTRY ESTES:For Nashville Predators, why does it always take desperation to bring out their best?

STEPPING UP:Nashville Predators' Matt Duchene, Ryan Johansen come up big in Game 3 after losing power-play duties

FROM THE OTHER LOCKER ROOM:Carolina Hurricanes coach sounds off after Nashville Predators take Game 3: 'We're fighting the refs'

WEIGHTY:Matt Benning's skirmish headlines physical start to Predators-Hurricanes series

Predators vs. Hurricanes in 2021

Jan. 18: Hurricanes 4, Predators 2

March 2: Hurricanes 4, Predators 2

March 9:  Hurricanes 3, Predators 2 (OT)

March 11:  Hurricanes 5, Predators 1

April 15:  Hurricanes 4, Predators 1

April 17:  Hurricanes 3, Predators 1

May 8:  Predators 3, Hurricanes 1

May 10:  Predators 5, Hurricanes 0

What about the other series in the Central Division?

Florida and Tampa Bay collide in the other Central Division first round playoff series, with the winner facing the winner of the Predators-Hurricanes series. Tampa Bay currently leads the series 3-1.

The full first-round schedule for that series:

Game 1 in Sunrise, Fla.: Lightning 5, Panthers 4

Game 2 in Sunrise, Fla.:  Lightning 3, Panthers 1

Game 3 in Tampa:  Panthers 6, Lightning 5 in OT

Game 4 in Tampa:  Lightning 6, Panthers 2

Game 5 in Sunrise, Fla.:  Monday, May 24, 7 p.m. on CNBC

Game 6 in Tampa (if necessary):  Wednesday, May 26, TBD on start time and TV

Game 7 in Sunrise, Fla. (if necessary):  Friday, May 28, TBD on start time and TV