Nino Niederreiter scored twice in the first period and the Carolina Hurricanes held off the Nashville Predators 5-3 on Saturday night to sweep the season series.

Sebastian Aho had a goal and an assist and Justin Williams and Jordan Martinook also scored. The Hurricanes snapped a two-game skid to keep their spot in the first wild-card in the Eastern Conference.

Teuvo Teravainen had two assists, and goalie Petr Mrazek improved to 8-0-0 against Nashville.

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek (34), of the Czech Republic, blocks a shot by Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen (92) in the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (74). (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek (34), of the Czech Republic, blocks a shot by Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen (92) in the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (74). (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Mikael Granlund, Brian Boyle and Craig Smith scored for the Predators.

Nashville coach Peter Laviolette pulled goalie Juuse Saros with about 2:33 left, and Granlund scored with 2:28 left in regulation from right in front with officials waving it off both on the ice and after an initial review for interference by Boyle who collided with Mrazek. The Predators challenged and won for Granlund’s first goal since being acquired at the trade deadline.

Aho sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 19.3 seconds left.

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74), of Finland, guards the net as Carolina Hurricanes right wing Justin Williams (14) reaches for the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74), of Finland, guards the net as Carolina Hurricanes right wing Justin Williams (14) reaches for the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

The Predators played without Filip Forsberg, day to day with a lower-body injury. Granlund replaced Forsberg on the top line with Viktor Arvidsson and Ryan Johansen. Nashville also was coming off its first three-day break since the team’s mandated break immediately after the All-Star Game in late January.

Carolina lost 8-1 to Winnipeg on Friday night and traveled. That didn’t stop the Hurricanes from jumping on the Predators early, outshooting them 16-8 and grabbing a 2-0 lead after the first period.

The Predators got into penalty trouble early and often starting with Smith just 30 seconds into the game. Then they wound up giving the Hurricanes a 5-on-3 for 95 seconds with back-to-back tripping penalties on Matt Irwin and captain Roman Josi. Saros, starting for Pekka Rinne, made seven saves during the penalty kill to keep it scoreless.

Carolina Hurricanes right wing Justin Williams (14) watches as a shot by teammate Nino Niederreiter gets past Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros, of Finland, for a goal in the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Carolina Hurricanes right wing Justin Williams (14) watches as a shot by teammate Nino Niederreiter gets past Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros, of Finland, for a goal in the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Niederreiter put Carolina up 1-0 at 14:29 with a wrister from the left circle that went top shelf over Saros’ glove. Nashville took its fourth penalty late in the period for too many men on the ice during a power play, and Niederreiter made it 2-0 with a second left tipping in Teuvo Teravainen’s shot from the slot on the man advantage for his 11th goal in 22 games with the Hurricanes.

Smith got Nashville on the board at 2:52 of the second, beating Mrazek’s blocker with a slap shot from the top of the right circle.

Williams scored Carolina’s second power-play goal 55 seconds into the third. Boyle answered quickly scoring at 2:35 to pull Nashville within 3-2. Then Martinook beat Saros with a wrister at 6:38 to pad the lead for Carolina.

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek (34), of the Czech Republic, blocks a shot by Nashville Predators defenseman Matt Irwin (52) in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek (34), of the Czech Republic, blocks a shot by Nashville Predators defenseman Matt Irwin (52) in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NOTES: The Hurricanes improved to 10-3-1 in the second game of back-to-backs. … Williams notched his seventh straight 20-goal season. … Nashville dropped to 5-17-4 when trailing after the second period.

UP NEXT

Hurricanes: At Colorado on Monday night.

Nashville Predators center Brian Boyle falls past Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek (34), of the Czech Republic, in the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Nashville Predators center Brian Boyle falls past Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek (34), of the Czech Republic, in the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Predators: At Anaheim on Tuesday night.

___

Nashville Predators defenseman Yannick Weber (7), of Switzerland, reaches for the puck with Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho (20), of Finland, in the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Nashville Predators defenseman Yannick Weber (7), of Switzerland, reaches for the puck with Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho (20), of Finland, in the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

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