But thanks to some spotty goaltending, a wild second period and another timely goal from Nick Ritchie, the Ducks defeated the Predators 5-3 at the Honda Center and head to Nashville tied 1-1 in the best-of seven Western Conference final. The second came off a face-off Sunday night when Johansen's stick caught Kesler in the face. The goal tied Silfverberg with Jake Guentzel of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the playoff lead with 9. "A few of the goals they crashed the net - good plays - but they just ended up going in. It's only going to get escalated from here".
It's no secret - Carrie Underwood is a huge Nashville Predators fan. How quickly you can turn the page and focus on the next day and the next game.
"Being at home here, I think, is an advantage for us because of the environment and the atmosphere that the fans bring", coach Peter Laviolette said. His family and friends watching him play, I don't know how you can cheer for a guy like that. "Certainly for him, I'm sure there was a little adjustment. He'll be ready to play". But with less than two minutes to play, the Ducks got a power play opportunity and cashed in as Sami Vatanen scored his first of the playoffs to cut the lead to one after 20 minutes. The lone goal held up for nearly 40 minutes, when Evgeni Malkin scored at 14:25 of the third to tie the game. "So hopefully it is working".
So ... Johansen ... not a fan of Kesler.
The Nashville Predators look to protect their home ice and take a 2-1 series lead.
One of the match-ups in this series is Ryan Johansen of the Predators up against agitating veteran center Ryan Kesler of the Ducks.
The Ducks managed to even the series with the Predators thanks to a 5-3 win in Game 2. Now, he has helped the Ducks get within a series of the Stanley Cup final. They also have a 4-1 road record after sweeping Calgary and winning twice in Edmonton.
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle paid tribute to Gibson's shot-stopping work in goal.
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"So nobody should expect to go through the playoffs and not ever lose a game".
Nashville captured Game 1 with a 3-2 overtime victory on James Neal's goal. Holding opponents in check, keeping them away from their sweet spots, getting strong goaltending from Craig Anderson are all big parts of the team's identity. We have to be better defensively.
"We're going to need that", Cogliano said.
That means crunching the Predators whenever possible, a style the Ducks play very well.
But Rinne and his teammates should get a boost from returning to Bridgestone Arena, where they have won all five postseason games this spring by a combined score of 15-6. The 6-foot-3 forward has three combined hits throwing his big body around, including a big check on Calle Jarnkrok in the opener.
After every slow start and tight game over their past month, not much can ruffle these Ducks.
"He's really valuable to our hockey club", Subban said. Patrick Eaves' absence has rendered the power play (PP) impotent. Josi's game-winner-a wrister from the right face-off circle-came on a power play with 2:43 left in regulation.
Now Laviolette will have the last change, though he didn't tip his hand at any possible adjustments.