After Anaheims Chris Wagner caught Nashvilles Ryan Ellis with a high stick in the final minutes of the third period, Predators defenceman Roman Josi scored the game-winner on the ensuing power play. The Ducks won Games 3 and 4 of last year’s first round 3-0 and 4-1, respectively, but failed when they came back and had the opportunity to close out that series in Game 6. Anaheim’s John Gibson played as though he were breaking in new skates.
Despite those disappointments, the Predators remained focused and continued to swarm over the fading Ducks before they finally capitalized on that late power play.
Nashville got off to a 2-0 start in Game 2 thanks to Ryan Johansen and James Neal scoring. They even had less power plays but converted on half of them.
“It shows a lot of character”, Rinne said.
What’s the likelihood we see some Preds players in the Titans’ stadium this season doing the same thing? “It’s a great sign for a team”.
Sweden, which was boosted by the arrival of center Nicklas Backstrom and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, booked its quarterfinal place later Sunday with a 4-2 win over Denmark. He bounced back with a far better effort in Game 3, but there were still some close calls, like when the Ducks cleared the puck the length of the ice and it almost skipped over Rinnes pads at the last moment.
The third period is when Gibson has flourished for Anaheim during the 2017 playoffs. Anaheim needs Perry to start being a threat offensively.
Gibson was helpless on the game victor, which was set up when a shot by Ekholm hit teammate Viktor Arvidsson and caromed to Josi in the right circle. “I don’t know who was keeping it”, Carlyle said, “but he better get a pair of glasses”. There’s a real good chance he does so, but it won’t be because Johansen isn’t willing to go up against Kesler.
Ritchie also scored the victor in game seven against the Edmonton Oilers to advance the Ducks to the National Hockey League semi-finals.
The Ducks have been outshot by a total of 119-76 through three games in the Western Conference Final.
“No guy will use that as an excuse”, said center Nate Thompson, who won the faceoff that led to Lindholm’s tying goal. They have to finish and ensure their frenetic energy actually gets the puck in the net.
“Moving him up and down in our lineup gives us some flexibility”, Carlyle said. They faced relatively little adversity while steamrolling Chicago and St. Louis in the first two rounds on the way to the first conference finals in franchise history. Anaheim and Nashville are meeting in the postseason for the third time, including the past two seasons. Nashville’s Pekka Rinne, who fought the puck all night, allowed four goals for the first time in the playoffs.
The power play has also been affected by his absence and has notched a 0-for-10 mark in the Penguins’ last three games. Looks like the Predators went all out to welcome them and make them feel like family. “It was their first game in a while”. “Whether it’s overtime or third period or we’re leading or we’re trailing”. It helps us so much, especially with those two goals. We haven’t played a team like that in a while. “It’s nearly like we feel, ‘Oh, we’ve got nothing to lose now.’ It’s nearly like that’s when we play our best game”. This must mean they took more accurate shots and/or the Ducks defense was allowing the Predators to take many shots on goal. D Kevin Bieksa missed his seventh straight game, while F Patrick Eaves missed his fifth straight game with a leg injury. The fourth draw resulted in an Anaheim empty-net goal just nine seconds later.