Predators draw first blood in Western Conference Final

Predators draw first blood in Western Conference Final

They want to take control of their Western Conference Final series with a win in game two Sunday. Nashville’s tight checking and zealous forechecking was rewarded when Filip Forsberg, plus-10 for the playoffs coming in, tapped in a point shot from defenseman Matt Irwin. Nashville made quick work of the heavily favoured Chicago Blackhawks in the opening round and then wasted the St. Louis Blues in the second round then played a textbook series opening road game against the Ducks who had to have been exhausted after a seven game series with the young and speedy Oilers. “This time of year you can’t have excuses”, Anaheim defenseman Hampus Lindholm told the Orange County Register.

“We scored on our first shot of the game and then we got outshot 13-1″, Carlyle said. That’s what it’s all about. “He can anticipate when you’re doing, so it’s hard to get those rim-arounds”. The Predators picked up the Ducks at the blue line and rarely let them set up. We’ll turn the page on this one.

After finishing off St. Louis in the second round last weekend and resting while the Ducks labored through seven games against Edmonton, Nashville capitalized on its fresh legs to win a predictably physical game between two hard-hitting powers.

Nick Ritchie broke a tie late in the second period, and Anaheim roared back from that early two-goal deficit for a 5-3 victory Sunday night.

The Ducks scored a goal on their first shot of Game 1, then beat Rinne just one more time the rest of the night.

Pearn said another factor that stuck out for him was back pressure by forwards on each team, a key reason why each has reached the Western Conference Final. “It was good to jump on them from the start, but this is going to be a battle every night”.

At least the Ducks have home-ice advantage. Nashville is 5-0 at Bridgestone Arena this postseason thanks in large part to Pekka Rinne, who’s knocked aside 141 of 147 shots for a.959 save percentage.

Neal put a long shot past a sprawled Gibson after a prolonged threat by the Predators that left Anaheim’s defense in disarray.

“Whoever’s picking us as the underdog, that’s fine”, Neal said. “It’s a nice feeling for everyone in here, for sure”. “But we know we haven’t done nothing yet”.

Silfverberg scored again in Game 1 against the Predators, which gives him 35 points over his past 35 playoff games dating back to 2015. He has been so good that he may even get Conn Smythe consideration if, dare I say, the Predators venture any further.

Neal one-timed a pass from P.K. Subban at the right circle and his shot deflected off Ducks forward Corey Perry into the net to end a game in which goaltending and penalty killing were spotlighted. The Predators lost in seven games to the San Jose Sharks in the second round.

“I liked the way we played in the first round better than in round two”, Predators head coach Peter Laviolette said. They took a 2-1 second-period lead on a goal from forward Austin Watson, the 15th Predators players to score through 11 playoff games. Eaves cemented himself as an integral part of the Ducks’ offense after being acquired at the National Hockey League trade deadline, and his physical brand of play would actually go a long way against a team like Nashville. The Ducks’ Jared Boll shouldered Nashville’s Calle Jamkrok right in the chops, without a call, and Ryan Getzlaf sent Victor Arvidsson face-frirst into the boards and didn’t get a boarding whistle. Lindholm scored his first playoff goal in 25 games since Game 1 of the 2015 Western Conference finals against Chicago.