NHL Playoffs: Anaheim Ducks Exciting Comeback Victory

Posted May 20, 2017

A goal by Sami Vatanen on the power play gave them the energy they needed and won 5 to 3, over the Nashville Predators.

It may be the Ducks and Predators in the Western Conference Final, but after only two games, all anyone wants to talk about is the budding rivalry of Ryan Johansen and Ryan Kesler.

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

Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson apparently eclipsed Gibson with one of the NHL's all-time most comprehensive screens, Gibson looking and leaning to his left as Neal flipped the puck into the sudden open space to his right.

Ondrej Kase tied the game at 3 with 9:19 remaining in the second-period.

The Ducks took advantage of their first power play to take a 1-0 lead with 4:25 left in the second period.

Nick Ritchie's tiebreaking goal at 17:07 of the second period was a wrister from the left faceoff circle that flew over Rinne's blocker into the net's roof.

Pekka Rinne made 22 saves for the Predators. Theodore leads the blue line with eight points in the playoffs, while Fowler has seven and Montour six.

"Everybody says we go about it the hard way, but as long as we get the job done", shrugged John Gibson, who stopped 30 shots.

Gibson handled 38 shots for the Ducks, who stay in Nashville for Game 4 on Thursday.

"I wish we didn't get down in the first place, but I think we have three or four lines that get going and just keep punching through", Ducks forward Rickard Rakell said.

"I think it's great", the winger said of the victory.

Subban for Weber looked like a long-term steal for the Predators as they got a younger, more mobile puck-moving defenseman in part because Montreal preferred a safer style of play. 5-on-5 faceoffs, the Predators won 52%. they went 1-5 on faceoffs on special teams. Quite possibly. The matchup of both Kesler and Johansen will certainly draw the attention of the officials as this series continues.

Game 3 is in Nashville on Tuesday. His family and friends watching him play, I don't know how you can cheer for a guy like that. It's not often you see one of Nashville's top players decide to go full bore and address it with the media afterwards, but here we are. We just kept coming at them and had a lot of chances.

Two wins from the first NHL Stanley Cup Final in Nashville history, the Predators have all the makings of a team of destiny.

Nashville wasn't going to be a picture-perfect team throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so a stinker was bound to happen sooner or later.

"Moving him up and down in our lineup gives us some flexibility", Carlyle said.

Eastern Conference finals: Penguins at Senators - Ottawa have effectively deployed their methodical trap system in all but one period so far in the series, however Phil Kessel exploited that lapse and it is now a best-of-five affair.

Kesler leaned against a wall in the hallway outside the Anaheim dressing room and said he laughed when he heard Johansen's comments. And they were just getting started.

The Pittsburgh Penguins (2008) and Los Angeles Kings (2012-13) had nine-game streaks in recent years, but not since the Colorado Avalanche in 1996 and 1997 has a team gotten to double digits.