Corey Perry just keeps finding the net in overtime this post-season and his third goal in extra-time helped the Ducks tie the Western Conference finals at 2-2.
Perry’s shot deflected in off Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban’s stick 10 minutes, 25 seconds into overtime as the Ducks snapped the Predators’ 10-game home playoff winning streak with a 3-2 victory on Thursday night.
“I was just trying to create traffic or create a bounce and create havoc in front,” Perry said. “And that’s what they say in overtime: You throw it on net, never know what’s going to happen.”
Perry matched Mel Hill (1939) and Maurice Richard (1951) for the most OT goals in a single post-season in NHL history.
Perry also tied Teemu Selanne’s franchise record with his eighth winning goal and moved past Selanne for sole possession of second in Ducks’ history with his 36th post-season goal.
John Gibson made 32 saves for Anaheim, who were the last team to beat the Predators in Nashville in the playoffs last spring in Game 4 of their first-round series.
Rickard Rakell and Nick Ritchie staked the Ducks to a 2-0 lead, but Subban scored with 6:27 remaining and Filip Forsberg tied it with 34.5 seconds left in regulation with his fourth goal in four games.
Perry ended the second overtime in the series with a goal originally credited to Nate Thompson.
Perry stopped the puck as the Predators tried to clear and shot from the right boards at a severe angle. Subban stuck out his stick trying to poke-check the puck away only to redirect it past goaltender Pekka Rinne.
“They caught a lucky bounce tonight on the redirect that ended up being a difference maker,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said.
The goal finally was credited to Perry after the Ducks appealed to the NHL.
“I don’t really care at this point as long as it goes in the net,” Thompson said.
Game 5 is today in Anaheim, California.
Meanwhile, the head of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics organizing committee said that the NHL is not being “greedy” by preventing stars going to next year’s Games and he was willing to be flexible to meet its demands.
Organizing committee president Lee Hee-beom told reporters that “we are ready to cooperate.”
Lee said that he does not know what the NHL’s conditions are, “but whatever they ask — if it is acceptable for us — we will do our best.”
“So far I don’t think they were so ... greedy and they didn’t ask too many requests beyond our expectations,” Lee said in an interview in London.
The International Ice Hockey Federation has been willing to discuss options, but acknowledged a “game-changer” offer was likely needed for NHL team owners to change their minds about halting the NHL schedule for three weeks.
Additional reporting by AP
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