Energized Ducks even Western finals, beat Predators 5-3

Kristopher Nichols
May 18, 2017

"It's nearly like we feel, 'Oh, we've got nothing to lose now.' It's nearly like that's when we play our best game". 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. Anaheim's Antoine Vermette added an empty-netter with 43.6 seconds left, and Cam Fowler had two assists.

Game 2 was another tight, low-scoring game, but the ice was clearly tilted Pittsburgh's way in the third period.

Hornqvist for Neal has worked out for Nashville, too, but nothing like the three other swashbuckling moves Poile has made: getting then-prospect Filip Forsberg from Washington at the 2012 deadline for Martin Erat and Michael Latta, trading Seth Jones to Columbus for Ryan Johansen last season and shocking the hockey world by getting P.K. Subban from Montreal for Shea Weber last June. Pekka Rinne recorded 22 saves.

Game 3 is Tuesday night in Nashville.

NOTES: After going 0-for-20 on the power play over six consecutive games, Anaheim scored with the man advantage for the second straight contest.

Si Woo Kim of South Korea became the youngest victor of The Players Championship with a game and nerves well beyond his 21 years. “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.”.

It's no secret - Carrie Underwood is a huge Nashville Predators fan. "That's not going to go away".

They opened Game 1 on Friday with sloth-like sluggishness, the Ducks performing in a manner that suggested they forgot the players are expected to take their pregame naps before arriving at the arena. "They found a way to claw back", said forward Johansen.

How it happened: In the franchise's first home game in the conference finals, Nashville nearly played second fiddle to Gibson.

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"Nobody should expect to go through the playoffs and not ever lose a game", coach Peter Laviolette said. I think they will continue to look like the better team now that they are at home. Several games of lazy first periods have put the Ducks in multiple holes this season.

Josi's goal was set up by a awful penalty by the Ducks' Chris Wagner for high-sticking Ellis with 3:55 left.

But the Ducks fought back, scoring two goals just 99 seconds apart to tie it 2-2.

However, this is the first time in these playoffs someone has called out Kesler for crossing the line. It's a significant uptick compared to his first (.886) and second (.887) periods this postseason.

Nashville took a 1-0 lead at 4:18 in the first period when Viktor Arvidsson sprung Ryan Johansen on a breakaway.

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle has made in-game adjustments with his line, with them often paying off. "We know how important these games are".

"You've got to be in here to feel the energy", Josi said. This was his fifth goal of the playoffs, which extends the franchise record for goals by a defenseman. Predators C Ryan Johansen tied a club record for points (13) in the playoffs.

Corey Perry soothed any agitated Ducks fans at the 15:35 mark when he gave Anaheim the lead on the power play.

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