NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Goaltender Juuse Saros made 39 saves, and the Nashville Predators beat the Florida Panthers 4-1 to hold onto their slim hold on the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division.
Saros has the most wins among NHL goalies since March 18 and helped the Predators remain two points ahead of Dallas.
Nick Cousins scored the game-winning goal in the second period. Yakov Trenin, Erik Haula and Mikael Granlund each scored for Nashville.
Sam Bennett scored for Florida. The Panthers needed to beat Nashville in any fashion to clinch the seventh playoff berth in franchise history.
The Predators host the Panthers again Tuesday night, Pekka Rinne is expected to start in goal for Nashville.