RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Jordan Staal scored twice and Nino Niederreiter beat Juuse Saros for the go-ahead goal early in the third period, helping the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators in the first game of the teams’ first-round playoff series.

Niederreiter hammered the puck past Saros from between the circles at 2:26 of the third.

Staal followed midway through the third by corralling a loose puck and beating Saros.

Teuvo Teravainen and Andrei Svechnikov also scored for Carolina.

“It’s a long series, I think panic is not a very good word right now.” said Predators forward Erik Haula, “I don’t sense any panic in our game. We’re a confident group, we’ve gone thru some adversity this season. I’m very confident we’ll come back and play a very good game on Wednesday.”

Filip Forsberg and Haula scored for Nashville. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Wednesday.