2021 Stanley Cup playoffs: Aho, Nedeljkovic lead Hurricanes past Predators in Game 2
Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes have taken a commanding 2-0 lead in their first-round Central Division series in the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 3-0 victory over the Nashville Predators at PNC Arena.

Sebastian Aho scored twice and Alex Nedeljkovic made 32 saves as the top-seeded Hurricanes have looked every bit the part through two games of this series.

Story of the game

The first chance of the game belonged to Martin Necas and while Nashville goaltender Juuse Saros made the save, Erik Haula was called for roughing.

While that power play didn't result in anything for Carolina, they did take advantage of their next opportunity after Mattias Ekholm was whistled for tripping and Sebastian Aho beat Saros with just under 12 minutes left in the first period to make it 1-0 Hurricanes. 

Sebastian Aho celebrates after opening the scoring in Game 2/Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Sebastian Aho celebrates after opening the scoring in Game 2/Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Despite multiple opportunities on the power play, Nashville couldn't get anything and Carolina had a two-on-one shorthanded, but Saros made a fantastic save.

In the second period, the Predators hit the post and further chances by Matt Benning, Alexandre Carrier and Roman Josi were handled by Nedeljkovic. Neither team broke through despite advantages by both teams, it stayed 1-0 through two periods.

Nedeljkovic stopped a shot by Matt Duchene as the third period got underway and Saros kicked out a deflected shot. The Preadtors continued to test Nedeljkovic, but he was equal to the task. Both goaltenders continued to hold firm until Saros was pulled for the extra attacker.

With 58 seconds left, Aho scored his second of the game to double the Hurricanes' advantage and Jordan Staal beat Saros, who was back in net, to round out the scoring and send Carolina on the road with a huge advantage.