Predators defeat Ducks in OT for 1-0 lead in Western Conference Finals


Photo Courtesy of predators.nhl.com

After defeating the St. Louis Blues in six games, the Nashville Predators defeated the Anaheim Ducks in overtime by a score of 3-2 for their first Western Conference Final game in franchise history.

A physical game throughout, the Preds found themselves down early after a goal from the Duck’s Jakob Silfverberg at the 5:15 mark of the first period. One stat that remained constant throughout was shot attempts; Nashville took 12 more shots than Anaheim did in the first period, although the Ducks scored on their only shot.

Filip Forsberg answered the goal with one of his own at the 12:34 mark, flipping a pass from Matt Irwin into the net for the 1-1 tie heading into the first intermission.

The second period was more of the same, as Nashville remained aggressive on both ends of the ice. The Preds broke the deadlock, as Austin Watson scored his first career playoff goal off a pass from Ryan Johansen at the 2:42 mark.

Watson continued the trend of fourth line players stepping up for the Preds, with the likes of Kevin Fiala and Vernon Fiddler coming through when it mattered in the first two rounds.

This lead held all the way until the 7:21 mark of the third period, as Hampus Lindholm scored off of a face-off victory to tie the game for the Ducks.

With the game on the line late, the Predators found themselves with a 5-on-3 man advantage after delay of game penalties were called on Ryan Getzlaf and Nate Thompson. Though they had multiple looks at the goal, Nashville failed to score in the 1:28 they had the advantage and the game went to overtime.

Both teams fought early for control in the OT period and after a close call in front of the Anaheim net, James Neal closed the game with a shot that deflected off of the Duck’s Corey Perry and into the goal for the Nashville win at the 9:24 point of the period.

3 Stars of the game

3) Pekka Rinne – 27 saves

2) Ryan Johansen – two assists

1) James Neal – game-winning goal in overtime

What’s next?

The Predators and Ducks will return to the ice on Sunday, with game time set for 6:30 p.m. The Predators will go for a commanding lead, while the Ducks will try to avoid going down to Nashville 2-0 in the series.

To contact Sports Editor Rusty Ellis (@RustyEllis13), email sports@mtsusidelines.com. 

For more sports stories, follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter and Periscope at @Sidelines_Sport.

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