How it happened: In the franchise's first home game in the conference finals, Nashville nearly played second fiddle to Gibson.
The Ducks took advantage of their first power play to score with 4:25 left in the second period.
Filip Forsberg and Austin Watson scored in regulation for the Predators, who improved to 9-2 in this National Hockey League postseason. With his second-period goal and 35th of his playoff career, Ducks RW Corey Perry tied Teemu Selanne for second on the franchise's all-time playoff goals list. 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.
When Ottawa scores the first goal, as they did in Game 1, they can tighten the screws with their modified trap and make it hard for Pittsburgh to produce scoring chances created with their speed through the middle of the ice, which they are used to doing against many teams.
Gibson stopped 38 saves, while Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne made 19 saves.
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That's some prestigious company for the last pick of the draft. "It's always, 'He's good...and he's 5'9", Thomas said. The early indication is that Boston plans to keep the pick, likely eyeing Fultz as the first selection in the draft.
That the Johansen line has combined for three goals and eight points in two games on the road, where they have seen a steady diet of slashes and hacks from Ryan Kesler and the Ducks' shutdown line, has been even more impressive.
After some struggles early, John Gibson settled in, stopping 30 of the 33 shots he saw.
Anaheims Ryan Kesler was booed nearly every time he touched the puck on Tuesday night, but most of the venom during the third period was saved for referees Brad Meier and Wes McCauley, who had the audacity to disallow two Nashville goals. I got a chance to hang out, actually, one of the UFC Fights, the Fight Night that was here in Nashville, hanging out with James Neal and P.K. Subban, who are both just great guys. Now I'm getting to redeem myself a little bit.
Game three is Thursday night. As the physical play between the two exponentially increased in the second and third periods, it pushed Johansen over the edge. And as a team that's - it gives us that extra boost.
"I thought we played pretty good in the losses", Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said.
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He's one of the best strikers in the world. "We will keep the players that we want to keep", Pochettino said. He has climbed to the top the tally with 26 goals in the season, two ahead of Everton's Romelu Lukaku.
But Rinne and his teammates should get a boost from returning to Bridgestone Arena, where they have won all five postseason games this spring by a combined score of 15-6. This round, that player is Johansen, who has already had his fill of the tenacious checker only two games into this 1-1 series.
"There's a lot of things to like but it's just one game", Boucher said.
"We understand, they wait", Malkin said.
Nashville wasn't going to be a picture-perfect team throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so a stinker was bound to happen sooner or later.
Johansen for Jones was one of the best pure hockey trades in recent history with benefits for the Predators and Blue Jackets, who are happy to have a young right-handed-shooting defenseman like Jones for the long term. "Go Preds! Hoping they can get to the finals, that would be awesome", he said recently. "It's not that we didn't show up and play hard, or we weren't ready to compete or ... we played good teams". "Whether it's overtime or third period or we're leading or we're trailing". He bounced back with a far better effort in Game 3, but there were still some close calls, like when the Ducks cleared the puck the length of the ice and it almost skipped over Rinnes pads at the last moment. They just keep cheering and cheering.
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