News Worms
News Worms

Energized Ducks even Western finals, beat Predators 5-3

But with less than two minutes to play, the Ducks got a power play opportunity and cashed in as Sami Vatanen scored his first of the playoffs to cut the lead to one after 20 minutes.

Allowing four goals and an empty-netter shouldn't be that big a deal. In their Game 2 triumph, Vatanen scored while Cam Fowler had two assists and Shea Theodore, Josh Manson and Brandon Montour each had one. John Gibson stopped 30 shots in the winning effort. Nashville also had a pair of goals waved off eight seconds apart in the final period due to goaltender interference. Johansen, between Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg, has been almost unstoppable this postseason-they've got 30 points among them, with Johansen pacing the team in assists with 10. The win gives Nashville a 2-1 series lead.

"They have a lot of talent out there", Johansen said.

The Predators insist they can play that game too - and keep their cool no matter what pesky Ducks center Ryan Kesler does. The game-winning goal came from Roman Josi on a Predators' power play.

"I thought they came out and grabbed some momentum right at the end of the first period and they came out and scored another quick goal and I think the momentum shifted a little bit", Laviolette said.

"Nick Ritchie said goal", he explained, "and I started celebrating".

Just two days after surviving Edmonton, the Ducks had to face Nashville in an early-starting game - and they were promptly outskated and outclassed for long stretches by the well-rested Predators. Chiarelli says while he feels his team exceeded expectations this season his players and coaches will need to be ready for higher expectations next season. No one has gotten to the Predators since.

It was somewhat humourous - and just a tad premature - when a reporter asked Anaheim Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle if Sunday night's game was of the "must-win" variety. "It gives us that extra boost and that extra energy that we needed". As much as general managers complain that it's hard to make deals because of the cap, Pittsburgh's Jim Rutherford, Ottawa's Bryan Murray and Pierre Dorion, Nashville's David Poile and Anaheim's Bob Murray have shown a knack for getting good ones done. If Nashville is going to advance to the Stanley Cup Final they need Arvidsson to deliver in the offensive zone. The officials missed that one, as well as a two-hander to the back of the legs of Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban late in the third period.

"You know I had us in and around the playoffs", Chiarelli said.

Even the best have an off night, and Rinne was out of sorts in Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center.

The Ducks have continued to fight back in all their series in the 2017 NHL Playoffs. You can argue the Ducks have been the better team i nthe first two games of this series, but it's hard betting against the Preds at home with the way they've played throughout the playoffs overall.

Ryan Kesler knows that he has managed to rattle Predators center Ryan Johansen and the veteran Anaheim Ducks center doesn't plan on easing up. Anaheim capitalized on their power play thanks to those penalties and score with just under five minutes remaining in the second period.


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