Energized Ducks even Western finals, beat Predators 5-3

Jonathan Hernandez
May 17, 2017

Despite losing Game 2, Nashville has yet to lose two playoff games in a row, which will be put to the test on Tuesday night in Game 3 of this series. Filip Forsberg evened things up seven minutes later and then Austin Watson gave the Preds a 2-1 lead early in the second period. It was 39 seconds into the second period when Johansen temporarily lost his man at the side of the net, allowing Silfverberg to tie the game with his ninth goal of the playoffs.

Silfverberg has scored in two straight games and leads the team with nine goals while Ritchie has two goals in his last three games. Pekka Rinne has given up 20 goals on 343 shots faced.

So far through the first two games, Johansen has gotten the better of the matchup, tallying four points in two games. John Gibson has struggled in the postseason, but he faced 46 shots on Friday and stopped 43 of them.

After a 1st period on Friday in which the Ducks looked tired and hungover from a Game 7 victory against the Edmonton Oilers, the team again looked like they had just barely awoken from a lazy Sunday afternoon nap. Several games of lazy first periods have put the Ducks in multiple holes this season. Four days later, he got his next major goal on an exceptional high shot that appeared to glance off Rinne's mask on the way in. "They're not going to give you anything but we worked hard to get our chances and we've got to bury them when we get them". "But with that being said, I think we did a pretty good job in the neutral zone".

Add in a dose of heavy physicality, more so than we saw in Game 1, and the Predators were effectively drawn off the style of game that they prefer to play into an environment that the Ducks excel in. “I was watching the game a little bit last night and (Ryan) made two great plays. "And a lot of even their skilled players can definitely bang bodies, too, and I think that's something that they've been trying to create that identity and obviously that brought them a lot of success over the years".

One factor in Nashville's dominance at home during the playoffs has been coach Peter Laviolette's ability to control matchups having the second change before faceoffs.

It was somewhat humourous - and just a tad premature - when a reporter asked Anaheim Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle if Sunday night's Game 2 against the Nashville Predators was of the "must-win" variety. They also have a 4-1 road record after sweeping Calgary and winning twice in Edmonton.

Rinne, who had entered the game with a sparkling.950 save percentage, is unlikely to play this shaky again.

They'll also have to bottle up Pittsburgh's speed, and get a solid performance from Craig Anderson like they have in the first two series against the Rangers and Bruins. "We're just going in there and going to try to take care of business".

The Penguins didn't lack for opportunities to jump on the Senators but four first-period power plays - including 45 seconds of a 5-on-3 - went nowhere.

"There were some good looks there", said Crosby, who had just two shots in 23:32 of ice time.

"He's really valuable to our hockey club", Subban said.

X-factor: Ryan Ellis. Nashville always has a defenseman who goes from sleeper to an on-the-radar threat.

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