NHL Predators mince Ducks to take series lead

Sandy Mccarthy
May 20, 2017

Anaheim hung on through a frenetic third period, surviving a few mad scrambles before captain Ryan Getzlaf got his third assist of the night on Vermette's empty-netter.

Some are dressed in stripes. Defensively, the Nashville Predators are allowing 2.7 goals per game and are killing 80.9 percent of their opponents power plays.

Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is Thursday night in Nashville.

They werent necessarily the wrong calls.

But the Ducks fought back, scoring two goals just 99 seconds apart to tie it 2-2. Instead, they got angry.

Moved up in the second period to the line featuring Ryan Getzlaf and Nick Ritchie, Kase scored the goal that pulled the Ducks even, 3-3, then was out there six minutes later when Ritchie produced the eventual game-winner. Nashville won 2-1 to take a 2-1 series lead.

Game 3 is Tuesday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Draymond: "You want to beat a team at full strength'Wilbon: Spurs let ch". We have celebrated hat tricks with some of our players in the past.

"You think you're playing a good game".

The Ducks countered with a three-on-two rush, but Rinne was equal to the task, turning away Rickard Rakell's attempt from close range. And the wait was definitely worth it. The Predators, competing in their first conference finals, have never been in this situation before, but they and their fans are making a lot of noise this spring. Neal scored from point-blank range on an assist from Johansen for his fifth goal of the postseason. "We need to play the same way, and they're going to go in some time". I havent been in a building with that much energy in my life.”. Kesler noted he has drawn two penalties from Johansen in two games from the Predators center who "likes to use his stick".

Nashville twice won Game 1 and went on to claim the previous two series with major help from Rinne, who usually has been at his inimitable best when facing the Ducks' scorers.

Of course, it wasnt just Johansen that Nashville had to worry about.

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The Ducks managed a win in Game 2 despite being outshot once again. That earned McLeod an instigator penalty along with a game misconduct. Forsberg scored to give Nashville the lead back at the eight-minute mark, but Ondrej Kase tied the game back up less than three minutes later.

It had been that kind of series for Rinne, who had uncharacteristically struggled in Game 2, allowing four or more goals for the first time in the playoffs. Nashville RW Craig Smith missed his third straight game.

Another time, Anaheims Brandon Montour fanned on a shot that snuck underneath Rinnes pads. However, the net came off its moorings just before the puck crossed the line, a decision that was upheld by review.

Josi, Ryan Ellis and Filip Forsberg combined for 20 shots on goal, matching the total of the entire Ducks roster.

"We know how important these games are", Carlyle said, "and every one gets more important as we go forward". “We just kept pounding them. But the Predators, who remained a flawless 6-0 at home in the playoffs, fed off a crowd that refused to quit.

"After the (fourth) goal, you feel like you could have saved it, but that one for sure, it was bad timing, too", Rinne said.

Its the trade that keeps on giving.

Nashville is still an untraditional hockey market, but the Predators are establishing a tradition of winning here.

Both teams had some quality chances in the first.

The Predators did not make Johansen available Monday or Tuesday.

That would be Ritchie's second game-winning goal in the playoffs. "They were confident", Predators head coach Peter Laviolette said afterwards.

Other reports by BadHub

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