Hurricanes, Preds set to open first-round playoff series

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Hurricanes and the Nashville Predators begin their Stanley Cup playoff series Monday.

The Hurricanes won the Central Division for their first division crown since winning the Cup in 2006.

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This marks the first time the franchise has reached three straight postseasons since the franchise relocated to North Carolina in 1997 from Hartford, Connecticut.

The Predators are in the playoffs for the seventh straight season.

That came after a strong finish of winning 20 of 28 to close the schedule.

Nashville goaltender Juuse Saros has been one of the hottest players in the league during that surge.