Ducks even Western Conference series with 5-3 win over Predators

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Seizing the manned advantage, James Neal scored Nashville’s second goal of the night, assisted by Johansen and Mattias Ekholm. They even had less power plays but converted on half of them.

“It shows a lot of character”, Rinne said.

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

“I think they believed that they were playing a decent game, and if we just stayed with it that we would eventually get one to drop and then see where it goes from there”. The Ducks took consecutive delay-of-game penalties in the third but killed off a lengthy 5-on-3 disadvantage, punctuated by a magnificent, cross-crease save by Gibson on Roman Josi to preserve the tie. “It’s a great sign for a team”. Kessel has five goals, Bonino a game-winner and Schultz has filled the void with top defensemen Kris Letang and Daley out.

The Ducks finally got the faster start they missed in the first two games in Anaheim, outshooting Nashville 8-4 to open the game. Dating back to past year, the Preds have won nine consecutive home playoff games. When the game was on the line, in the third period, Anaheim won 57% of the draws during this critical period. You watch him and he’s a guy that you love to have on your head and you hate to play against.

Just something to keep an eye on as the series continues. “They came out and took it to us”.

“I just play the game hard”, Kesler, who is rarely made available for locker room interviews, told Sportsnet after game two.

Rinne made 22 saves for the Predators, who faced relatively little adversity while steamrolling Chicago and St. Louis in the first two rounds on the way to the first conference finals in franchise history.

Anaheim at Nashville, 7 p.m. But Anaheim, led by Kesler’s physical play, will do everything in it’s power to muddy this series up and knock the Preds off their game.

“We’re going to need that”, Cogliano said. “It was their first game in a while”. Systems were abandoned, players began to press and try to do too much.

It was a valiant — if not foolish — decision, as McLeod received an penalty for instigating and was kicked out of the game.

“I think were a confident team, ” said Josi. “If I did, good”. In Game 6 of the Ducks’ series against the Edmonton Oilers, Gibson gave up 3 goals, on 6 shots, before the halfway point in the first period.

HollywoodLifers, who are you rooting for in this series, the Predators or the Ducks?

Nashville also had two more goal shots waved off in one eight-second spell, both denied by goaltender interference. Ottawa Senators’ Bobby Ryan, left, celebrates with teammates Mark Stone (61) and Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) after scoring the game-winning goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the overtime period of Game 1 of the Eastern.

NOTES: Anaheim remained without two key injured veterans. Bieksa is close to returning to health, while general manager Bob Murray said he is hopeful Eaves could play again in the postseason.

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“It doesn’t make sense how he plays the game”. Johansen even head-butted Kesler during the opening faceoff. The sellout crowd filled in throughout the night. The top four in each group go through to the quarterfinals. For a fleeting moment two minutes into the game, the overhead scoreboards listed the Ducks as having 99 shots on goal instead of the one they actually had at that point.

Pens, Sens, Preds, Ducks traded their way to NHL's final 4

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