Resilient Ducks vow stronger start to Game 2 vs Predators
- Author: Julie Sanders May 27, 2017,
May 27, 2017, 5:24
The Anaheim Ducks have evened the NHL's Western Conference finals at a game apiece by erasing deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 in a 5-3 verdict over the visiting Nashville Predators. He's now found the back of the net in each of the three games of the series.
A pair of Anaheim blunders allowed Nashville to take a 2-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game. Gibson was impenetrable in Russian Federation that year, giving up just two goals total in the medal round while facing shooters such as Mark Scheifele, Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, Tomas Hertl and, ironically, future Nashville standouts Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson. Up 2-0, the Predators had all the momentum as they were in the driver's seat for a 2-0 series lead heading back to Nashville. The Ducks dispatched Edmonton in a decisive Game 7 on Wednesday night and and the short turnaround showed against well-rested Nashville, which dominated play and poured 46 shots on goal. Have to. And just over 8½ minutes into the game, the Predators - already with a win in their pockets - had a 2-0 lead.
"Being at home here, I think, is an advantage for us because of the environment and the atmosphere that the fans bring", coach Peter Laviolette said. It just doesn't make sense how he plays the game. Nashville had five fruitless power plays Friday, including a almost 90-second two-man advantage.
Nashville's bigger concern could be, for the first time in the playoffs, goalie Pekka Rinne.
This was a game when the goaltenders finally took mercy on the other team's shooters.
All three goals were a product of having someone in front of Gibson, disrupting the play and allowing a more productive shot.
Watson then put the Predators ahead early in the second period with his first playoff goal, banking his shot in off Anaheim defenseman Sami Vatanen. Josi was assisted on his goal by Viktor Arvidsson and Mattias Ekholm.
It's one of hockey's Original Six clichés for goal-scorers, who get as much credit for the pucks that go in off the back of their trousers as the ones they snipe top shelf.
Things got chippy as the teams established a level of hatred one would expect with a conference final.
While Young may be busy on the road for the They Don't Know Tour with Jason Aldean as well as promoting his brand new single, "Losing Sleep", but he still squeezes in enough time to bring his "fang fingers" out on display to watch the boys in gold and navy move on to the next playoff round.
I should also point out that they Preds have only played about 60 minutes of even strength hockey when trailing the game by a goal.
"We understand, they wait", Malkin said.
After Johansen scored on a breakaway just 4:18 in, Neal doubled the lead on a power play with one of the easiest goals in recent history, escorting the puck unimpeded into the net when Gibson completely lost sight of the play.
"We didn't play anywhere near where we're capable of playing", Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said.
"Nashville" could not bring matters to a comeback in the final period, if not the goalkeeper of "Anaheim" Gibson, who had 40 times to enter the game. "Tonight we didn't deal with the puck properly, which enabled them to work their forecheck and scramble us around a little".
Therefore the Ducks will have trouble advancing past the Predators to the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals. But we still had a chance.