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Hakanpaa scores to lead Hurricanes past Predators 3-1

Jani Hakanpaa scored his first goal with Carolina to break a tie in the third period and the Hurricanes beat the Nashville Predators 3-1 Saturday night.

Hakanpaa, a defenseman acquired Monday at the trade deadline from the Anaheim Ducks, was in his second game with Carolina. He blasted in a shot with 11:05 left after receiving the puck when Vincent Trocheck won a face-off.

Hakanpaa didn’t have a goal in any of his 42 games with Anaheim this season. This tally marked just his second goal in 49 career games in the NHL.

Carolina Hurricanes right wing Andrei Svechnikov (37) tries to score against Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) while defenseman Ben Harpur (17) defends during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, April 17, 2021. (AP PhotoGerry Broome)

Jaccob Slavin scored in the first period and Andrei Svechnikov had an empty-net goal for the Hurricanes, who completed a season-high homestand at 5-2-1.

Roman Josi scored for Nashville, which has lost back-to-back games for the first time in more than a month. Juuse Saros had 45 saves.

Hurricanes goalie Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 27 shots. He played for the first time since an April 8 shutout of the Florida Panthers.

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) and defenseman Roman Josi (59) defend against Carolina Hurricanes left wing Warren Foegele (13) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, April 17, 2021. (AP PhotoGerry Broome)

Carolina’s first goal came on its 24th shot on net in the first period. Morgan Geekie delivered a pass to Slavin, who was between the circles.

Josi tied it with an unassisted goal following Nashville’s successful penalty kill.

Defensemen scored the game’s first three goals.

Carolina Hurricanes center Martin Necas (88) and right-wing Jesper Fast (71) try to score against Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) while defenseman Mattias Ekholm (14) looks on at right during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, April 17, 2021. (AP PhotoGerry Broome)

YOUR TURN

Center Matt Duchene returned to action for the Predators after 22 games missed with a lower-body injury. Duchene hadn’t played since March 4.

Defenseman Erik Gudbranson made his Predators debut. He was acquired in Monday’s trade with the Ottawa Senators.

Carolina Hurricanes center Vincent Trocheck (16) and center Jordan Staal (11) struggle with Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, April 17, 2021. (AP PhotoGerry Broome)

GETTING THEIR SHOTS

The Hurricanes registered 24 first-period shots, marking their most in any period since Nov. 21, 2018. Slavin had five of the shots, equaling the most for any Carolina player in a period this season.

In two games this season, Carolina failed to produce 24 shots in a full game. In two others, they finished with 24 shots.

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jani Hakanpaa (58) reacts following his game-winning goal against the Nashville Predators during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, April 17, 2021. (AP PhotoGerry Broome)

Nashville ended up with 20 shots in Thursday night’s meeting with the Hurricanes.

UP NEXT

Predators: Host Chicago on Monday night.

Hurricanes: At Tampa Bay on Monday night to open a two-game series.