Nashville defeated Anaheim 3-2 in OT in Game 1 as they were the far superior team that night and took advantage of a Ducks team coming off a hard fought and grueling seven-game series victory in the second round against Edmonton.
Nashville Predators' Matt Irwin (52) collides with Anaheim Ducks' Chris Wagner (21) as they battle for the puck during the second period of Game 2 of the Western Conference final in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Sunday, . Josi's game-winner-a wrister from the right face-off circle-came on a power play with 2:43 left in regulation.
NOTES: After going 0-for-20 on the power play over six consecutive games, Anaheim scored a power-play goal for the second straight contest.
The NHL playoff game between the Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators will be broadcast on the NBCSN and Sportsnet and CBC in Canada.More news: Psyche mission to reach metallic asteroid 4 years earlier
How it happened: In the franchise's first home game in the conference finals, Nashville nearly played second fiddle to Gibson.
Game 3 is Tuesday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
When Ottawa scores the first goal, as they did in Game 1, they can tighten the screws with their modified trap and make it hard for Pittsburgh to produce scoring chances created with their speed through the middle of the ice, which they are used to doing against many teams. Josi was assisted on his goal by Viktor Arvidsson and Mattias Ekholm.
Nashville had been 0 of 11 on the power play in this series. Hampus Lindholm scored for his first goal of the playoffs to even the score. On James Neal's goal, Mattias Ekholm had some downright medieval net presence, taking out a number of Ducks and clearing the way for the game victor. As a comparison, the Predators have taken 33 in one fewer game. The Anaheim Ducks have allowed three or less goals in seven of their last eight games. They might have outscored the Ducks by only one goal, but their efforts were that of a team desperate to overwhelm with aggressiveness and persistent in attempts to capitalize on some undisciplined play by the Ducks.More news: Did Trump really favor Macron in France?
As the Predators realized, the Ducks had more than one agitator capable of knocking opponents off their game. "Maybe sometimes we shouldn't wait for that to get going". He then blinded John Gibson with a textbook screen on the second goal, to the point where the Anaheim goalie had no idea where the puck was or who even had it.
Rinne made 22 saves for the Predators, who 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. Nick Ritchie got the game-winning goal late in the period and Antione Vermette scored an insurance goal in the third. "It just doesn't make sense how he plays the game", he told the media. "From the flipside, the positive is we lost in overtime, so I think we were able to weather the storm in terms of how (Nashville) came out".
With the score tied 0-0 in the second period, Jared Boll caught Harry Zolnierczyk with an open-ice hit that crumpled the Predators forward to the ice.
But goals 99 seconds apart to finish the first period and start the second lifted the Ducks back into a 2-2 tie and provided the spark they needed, a spark Kase kept lit as the middle period progressed.More news: Golden State expects to face Cleveland
The Predators have been a model of consistency while going 9-2 in the postseason, and they think much of the credit should be placed on a defensive corps that might be the best in the playoffs.
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