Thu, May 18, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Predators overpower Ducks to take 2-1 series lead


Roman Josi on Tuesday scored on a power play late in the third period to give the Nashville Predators a 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks and a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference finals series.

Anaheim had led 1-0 through 40 minutes, but lost for the first time in the post-season when defending a lead in the third period.

The Predators were always able to remain in touch, with goalie Pekka Rinne making 19 saves for the win, and the Ducks’ John Gibson blocking 38 shots.

Josi scored on the first power-play tally of the series for Nashville, burying the rebound after Mattias Ekholm’s effort cannoned off Viktor Arvidsson.

The Predators had tied it at 1-1 with 16 minutes, 6 seconds left in the third after Filip Forsberg pounced on a rebound from a Ryan Ellis shot to thread the puck through a crowded crease for the score.

Nashville also had two more goal shots waved off in one eight-second spell, both denied by goaltender interference.

“You could sense going into that third period the guys were saying the right things. They were confident,” Predators head coach Peter Laviolette said afterward. “I think they believed that they were playing a decent game, and if we just stayed with it that we would eventually get one to drop and then see where it goes from there.”

However, Laviolette admitted that he had wondered if the Ducks would be able to defend their lead after watching Gibson’s display in goal.

“You think you’re playing a good game. It’s so tight. The scores at this time of the year generally are fairly low,” he said. “And you wonder if 1-0 is going to do it for the night.”

“So there was a lot of attempts. There was a lot of opportunities. Their goaltender played well and gave them a chance to hang in there and win a hockey game, but going out for the third, I think our guys stepped on the gas a little bit more and continued to push in the offensive zone,” he added.

Earlier, the Ducks opened the scoring on their first power play to take a 1-0 lead through Corey Perry with 4 minutes, 25 seconds left in the second period.

Perry’s score came from just below the Nashville goal line, rifling a shot off Rinne’s skate and into the net.

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle paid tribute to Gibson’s shot-stopping work in goal.

“Gibby gave us a chance. He stood tall in the net and he gave us a chance. And that’s all you can really ask of your goaltender,” Carlyle said. “We just didn’t do a very good job in front of him as far as managing the puck and then managing the people that were inside.”

This story has been viewed 1325 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top