Predators Continue Home Winning Streak, Beat Ducks 2-1 In Game 3

Doug Mendoza
May 20, 2017

Antoine Vermette scored an empty-net goal with:44 seconds remaining in the game.

The Ducks dug themselves out of a two-goal hole and rallied from behind twice for a 5-3 win over the Nashville Predators to even the Western Conference finals at one game apiece.

Although this conference final matches two Sun Belt clubs 2,000 miles apart, they have a feisty history. Both teams are here for a reason.

Ritchie, the power forward making his first career playoff run, scored the winning goal in Game 7 against Edmonton.

The Predators held the Ducks without a shot throughout the second period until 8:12 left when Brandon Montour put a backhand on Rinne, a puck that went across the goal line.

ABOUT THE PREDATORS: A game within the game is developing between Nashville's Ryan Johansen and Anaheim's Ryan Kesler, with the Predators' top line center bristling at what he considers suspect tactics by his counterpart. Pekka Rinne recorded 22 saves.

Game 4 is Thursday night in Nashville.

"He was incredible. He played awesome", Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said of Gibson. This is the first time in the playoffs Rinne has given up four goals in one game. Tying it up to one game each, the Preds hope their home game advantage for Game Three will only encourage that Smashville spirit.

It's not the only reason this series is tied coming back to Tennessee.

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"It shows a lot of character", Rinne said. "That's not going to go away". We've been a good team on the road. "They found a way to claw back". The Predators did a solid job for most of Game 1 and the first period of Game 2 in clogging up the neutral zone.

The overachieving Predators have been going full steam through the postseason and it appeared for awhile on Sunday that they weren't going to take their foot off the gas. This season's.924 mark tied him for seventh among National Hockey League netminders who played at least 15 games and we're starting to see the high-end of those stats in his post-season play.

The third period is when Gibson has flourished for Anaheim during the 2017 playoffs.

Rather than balking at the challenge, the Nashville Predators responded to a 1-0 deficit and a great John Gibson performance by just imposing their will in an eventual 2-1 Game 3 win. Josi ended that drought with his wrister from the right circle off an assist from Viktor Arvidsson. Defensively, the Anaheim Ducks are allowing 2.4 goals per game and are killing 84.7 percent of their opponents power plays. It's a significant uptick compared to his first (.886) and second (.887) periods this postseason.

"I thought we played pretty good in the losses", Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. After Game 2, we're still talking about it. "I'm just trying to go out there and play hockey, and it (stinks) when you've got to pull a stick out of your groin every shift".

NOTES: Ducks RW Jakob Silfverberg passed Paul Kariya for fourth place on the franchise's all-time playoff goals list with his 15th.

The Predators did not make Johansen available Monday or Tuesday.

Josi's game-winner was the first power-play goal of the series for Nashville. All three were scratched, along with D Simon Despres (concussion), D Clayton Stoner (abdomen), D Kevin Bieksa (lower body), RW Patrick Eaves (lower body), D Korbinian Holzer and C Logan Shaw.

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