Predators take Game 1 in OT against Ducks

Predators take Game 1 in OT against Ducks

Predators take Game 1 in OT against Ducks

Having finally put an end to their demonizing streak of Game 7 postseason failures on their home ice, the Anaheim Ducks will host the upstart Nashville Predators on Friday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.

Pacific Division champion Anaheim, making its fifth appearance overall in the conference finals and second since winning the Stanley Cup in 2007, swept Calgary in the opening round before overcoming the Game 7 albatross with a 2-1 victory over Edmonton on Wednesday to earn a rematch against the Predators. It was Neal's fourth goal of the playoffs.

Anaheim was inches away from tying the game late in the period, as the officials correctly saw that the puck barely crossed over the blue line to go offsides before Cam Fowler retrieved it and fired a shot past Talbot.

The one-timer, which hit an Anaheim defender on the way to the back of the net, ended what had been a sloppy, if not undisciplined, game.

"They had one day of rest", Neal said of the Ducks, who played an emotional Game 7 just two days prior.

"We got it in their zone and were working it around". They had been eliminated from the postseason in a Game 7 at home each of the previous four seasons.

Johnny Oduya, Chicago: Minus-3 with no points in 4 games for the Blackhawks. "From past year, finishing near the bottom of the league ... we grew as a group and we took that next step".

They had a more hard path to the Western Conference final, only knocking out the Edmonton Oilers in Game 7. "I thought we did a good job of getting picks to the net", said Roman Josi. Their bottom six looked quite good in Game 1, and that even goes for oft-maligned winger Cody McLeod.

Silfverberg scored again in Game 1 against the Predators, which gives him 35 points over his past 35 playoff games dating back to 2015.

"We're going to have some decisions to make as far as veteran players, and our young guys are going to be due for some pay raises", he said at the time. "They're a good hockey club, and it's going to be a tough series".

Anaheim tied the game at 2 midway through the third period, with Hampus Lindholm's first goal of the playoffs beating Pekka Rinne. Silfverberg's wrist shot beat Rinne to the stick side just inside the right post.

So when he found a patch of open ice during the third period Wednesday night, Ritchie could let fly with a lovely shot, his wrists unencumbered by the weight of history.

Nashville tied the score 1-1 on Forsberg's third goal of the playoffs at 12:34 of the first.

After the Ducks took consecutive delay-of-game penalties moments later for putting the puck in the stands, Gibson and his shot-blockers were outstanding while Anaheim survived 1:28 with a 5-on-3 disadvantage.

It could have been worse, but Cam Talbot wouldnt budge, giving a team that was badly out-played a chance to come back and win it in the third period.

Anaheim will need to contain the defensemen of Nashville, who have been red-hot in the postseason.

Rinne's best stop came halfway through the final period when he made a pad save in the goalmouth off Kyle Brodziak, allowing the Predators to go on and advance to their first National Hockey League semi-final series in the team's 19-year history. Losing at home isn't as devastating as it could be, since they're already 4-1 on the road this postseason. Anaheim did not dress D Kevin Bieksa, D Korbinian Holzer, RW Patrick Eaves and C Logan Shaw. The Ducks reassigned LW Nicolas Kerdiles and C Sam Carrick to their AHL San Diego affiliate.

The Capitals have lost six of nine Game 7s in the Alex Ovechkin era, and the Ducks have lost five in a row with stars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, including a heartbreaker in each of the last four years.

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