Predators rally to beat Ducks

ANAHEIM CA- MAY 14 Goaltender Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators can't make the save on a slapshot by Sami Vatanen #45 of the Anaheim Ducks in the first period of Game Two of the Western Conference Final during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Nick Ritchie got the game-winning goal late in the period and Antione Vermette scored an insurance goal in the third.

The Predators opened Game 2 on Sunday night the same way, scoring the first two goals of the game from Ryan Johansen and Neal.

The Nashville Predators took a 2-1 series lead in the NHL Western Conference Final following a 2-1 victory Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. "I'm not going to let up just because he said so".

Although this conference final matches two Sun Belt clubs 2,000 miles apart, they have a feisty history.

Both teams had some quality chances in the first. "They came hard. They had their push". This season's.924 mark tied him for seventh among National Hockey League netminders who played at least 15 games and we're starting to see the high-end of those stats in his post-season play. Getzlaf recorded three assists in Anaheim's win. Forsberg collected a rebound and fired a short-sided shot from below the left face-off circle to beat Anaheim netminder John Gibson. The Ducks rallied to take a 4-3 lead entering the third period. Mike Trout crossed Katella Avenue to support the Ducks for the second time in three playoff games.

Pekka Rinne defends his crease.

Game 4 is set for Thursday in Nashville. Five of their six defensemen made their way onto the scoresheet, combining for six total points (one goal, five assists). It's not just one guy in here that's going to win or lose it. “Hes a terrific player, and I think hes just worked on fitting inside of the concept of how we want to play as a team.”.

"The second (period), they got to control the tempo of the game and had the puck a little bit more, and obviously that plays into their hands", Rinne said.

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While Gibson had an excellent team in front of him (Johnny Gaudreau, Seth Jones, Alex Galchenyuk, etc.), his personal stats were exemplary.

Johansen wasn't among the Predators who spoke once they landed in Nashville. "That's not going to go away".

Josi's goal was the first power-play tally of the series for Nashville.

"I mean, it just blows my mind watching", Johansen said.

Yet, they still gave up the first goal, took the first penalty, surrendered the first power-play goal, took the second penalty, allowed the second goal and, 16 minutes in, had just two shots on goal. The Ducks had less shots on goal but were able to make more goals on less shots. "I think a lot of things played a factor into it, but emotionally, we didn't start the game like we needed to". They can't afford to go into another 0-2 deficit, heading to Music City. It is imperative because a Pittsburgh early lead forces Ottawa to play a more up-and-down the ice, wide-open style of game when the Senators are trailing, and that plays into the Penguins' strength in terms of generating scoring opportunities. For Vatanen, it was his first goal of the playoffs.

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle paid tribute to Gibson's shot-stopping work in goal. "He allowed us to stay in the game". No one has gotten to the Predators since. Through the first two games, Predators center Ryan Johansen has four points, including two in the first ten minutes of Game 2.

Finally breaking the scoreless tie, Anaheim's Corey Perry found the back of the Predators' net on a power play at the 15:35 mark of the second period, assisted by Rickard Rakell and Sami Vanaten.

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