Energized Ducks even Western finals, beat Predators 5-3

Energized Ducks even Western finals, beat Predators 5-3

Energized Ducks even Western finals, beat Predators 5-3

Anaheim, which had trailed 2-0 and then 3-2 after Forsberg's goal, tied things up when Ondrej Kase somehow snuck a shot that banked in off Rinne's pads and trickle over the line.

John Gibson stopped 30 shots, and Antoine Vermette had an empty-net goal for the Ducks.

Anaheim's Ryan Kesler, who's always been one for getting under the skin of the opposition, may have took it to another level against Johansen on Sunday night.

Still, it was Anaheim goalie John Gibson who was causing Nashville the most worry.

The Western Conference Finals between the Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks is even at one game apiece.

Ryan Kesler knows that he has managed to rattle Predators center Ryan Johansen and the veteran Anaheim Ducks center doesn't plan on easing up. The streak started in Game 6 of their first-round win over the Ducks after Anaheim took both Games 3 and 4, outscoring the Predators 7-1.

It had been that kind of series for Rinne, who had uncharacteristically struggled in Game 2, allowing four or more goals for the first time in the playoffs.

After getting outshot 15-6 in the first period of Game 1, Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg said the team had "to come out with that pack mentality".

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Although Honda Center was much fuller and louder than it was for the traffic-affected series opener, Johansen scored on a breakaway just 4:18 in.

"You think you're playing a good game".

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle paid tribute to Gibson's shot-stopping work in goal. "They need one chance, two-on-one or three-on-two to score". Nashville was scoreless through two periods - despite a decisive edge in shots - but hit the net twice in the final 20 minutes, the second on a power play goal by Roman Josi with 2:43 to go.

Rinne shut the door in the third period, stopping 10 shots to give his team a chance to rally, but the Predators weren't able to pick up their leading candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

At least, that was how fans of the Nashville Predators had been looking at it after on-ice officials almost “cost” their team a win in Game 3 of the Western Conference final. Johnny Gaudreau finished with two goals to take his tournament tally to six, and an assist, while Jimmy Howard made 19 saves in his fourth start for the Americans, who stretched their winning run to five games. He's eager to remind everyone that he's only one component of a defensive group that has driven the Predators to these unprecedented post-season heights.

"We haven't scored many goals on the powerplay so far, but let's hope the ketchup bottle is open now and we can keep scoring", said Finland's Vatanen. That was his first career playoff goal. "If we were losing (the series) 2-0, it would be so hard". "Go Preds! Hoping they can get to the finals, that would be awesome", he said recently. The officials missed that one, as well as a two-hander to the back of the legs of Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban late in the third period. Predators LW Harry Zolnierczyk, a healthy scratch for the previous games, returned to the lineup.

Crosby in Control - Sidney Crosby couldn't help the Penguins scoring effort, but you know that he has to step up at some point if Pittsburgh is going to turn on its high-scoring mode.

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