After all, this was Game 2 of a best-of-seven series.
How it happened: In the franchise's first home game in the conference finals, Nashville nearly played second fiddle to Gibson. Not that anyone with the Ducks wanted to repeat that scenario. "It gives us that extra boost and that extra energy that we needed". Now, we've all seen plenty of goals go for naught in this era of goalie interference, sure.
Well, that's up for debate.
The Anaheim Ducks have evened the NHL's Western Conference finals at a game apiece by erasing deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 in a 5-3 verdict over the visiting Nashville Predators. "I was the same player in my career". In sports, its always critical. "We don't want to put the pressure that you people put on it that it's end-all", said Carlyle.
"I think we're a confident team", said Josi.
It looked like they grabbed the lead moments later when Colton Sissons buried a rebound into an open net, but the referees blew the play dead prior to the goal when Harry Zolnierczyk was pushed into Gibson knocking him out of the play.
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The Predators overcame back-to-back canceled-out goals in that rush to succeed, and there are at least some who wonder if they were crashing Gibson's net in a way that wasn't quite innocent. Johansen opened the scoring on a breakaway after Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm got caught out of position after making an ill-time pinch at the Nashville blueline. Nashville has looked like the better team through a pair of games in Anaheim. "Obviously, disappointed personally in that second period".
"I wish we didn't get down in the first place, but I think we have three or four lines that get going and just keep punching through", Ducks forward Rickard Rakell said. But for the first 20 minutes, it was as if the players' skates were stuck in quicksand.
With the series shifting to Nashville, the Predators will have final say on matchups for Games 3 and 4 and might be able to get the team's No. 1 trio away from Anaheim's top checking line. Perry finished the game with two penalty minutes, two shots on goal and one hit in 14:57 of ice time.
Once again, the Ducks had dug themselves a hole.
Still, Anaheim is playing with fire if it continues this. "Now we're heading home and have another opportunity at home", Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne said following a shaky performance in Game 2.
The Predators took a 2-0 lead when Anaheim goalie John Gibson lost track of the puck and allowed Canadian Neal to get in behind him and score into an empty cage.
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"It doesn't matter if I did or didn't get in his head for me", Kesler said Tuesday, a few hours before Game 3. "My instinct knows where he should be at some point but I can't tell you that he'll be at that spot to start so we still have to figure that out". It just doesnt make sense how he plays the game, so Im just trying to go out there and play hockey and it sucks when you gotta pull a stick out of your groin every shift.. "I don't know what's going through his head over there".
Josi and Ellis each had a point, giving them each 10 points this postseason, a Nashville record for defensemen.
As you will remember, the Edmonton Oilers won the first two games of their second-round series versus the Ducks, with McDavid bagging three goals and two assists in the first five games. They also came back from being down 0-2 in a series for the first time in franchise history.
Anaheim, which had trailed 2-0 and then 3-2 after Forsbergs goal, scored three straight to take a 5-3 lead.
"That's playoffs written all over it", Predators forward Colton Sissons said Monday. And no, it's not a must-win.
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