Ducks overcome poor start, defeat Predators to even Western Conference Final
The Anaheim Ducks won’t like their start to Game 2 against the Nashville Predators.
Everything else that occurred from the final minutes of the first period and beyond, however, they will be ecstatic about. The Ducks evened the Western Conference Final at 1-1 following a 5-3 victory on Sunday.
-- The power play, which had struggled coming into this game, struck against what has been a red-hot Predators penalty kill since the beginning of the second round.
-- They were far more assertive with the puck and on the offensive attack after the first period.
-- The Ducks managed to score four goals on just 16 shots through two periods on Pekka Rinne, who gave up four goals in a single game for the first time in these playoffs. Nick Ritchie’s shot off the helmet of Rinne and in late in the second period counted as the winner.
-- After giving up two goals in the opening 8:32 of the first period, John Gibson was much better the rest of the way for Anaheim. He allowed one goal on 23 shots through the final two periods.
-- Credit to Gibson for the way he played after the first half of the first period, but the Ducks held on for the win in part because of a frantic goal-mouth scramble in the third period. Gibson and his teammates went flying around the crease to block or stop every Nashville attempt for the equalizer.
Game 3 goes Tuesday in Nashville.
This game also featured quite a few antics away from the puck. Not everything went unnoticed. Ryan Kesler appeared to catch Ryan Johansen with an elbow up high in the third period. Those two went at each other all night it seemed, including being seen chirping each other while lined up, waiting for faceoffs.
Before that, Filip Forsberg caught Jakob Silfverberg with a stick to the nether regions.