Tuesday, 22 August, 2017

NHL Playoffs: Anaheim Ducks Exciting Comeback Victory

Rita Gibson | 20 May, 2017, 03:23

In danger of falling into an two-game hole against the Nashville Predators, the Anaheim Ducks used a second-period comeback to even the Western Conference finals. The Ducks won Games 3 and 4 of last year's first round 3-0 and 4-1, respectively, but failed when they came back and had the opportunity to close out that series in Game 6. Now, he has helped the Ducks get within a series of the Stanley Cup final.

Instead, Anaheim rallied from a two-goal or larger deficit to win for the fourth time this postseason, matching wins in Game 3 against Calgary in the first round, and Game 4 and Game 5 against Edmonton in the second round.

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. They even had less power plays but converted on half of them.

"It shows a lot of character", Rinne said.

He will need to maintain that level to give Ottawa a chance to win this series. "It's a great sign for a team". Kesler noted he has drawn two penalties from Johansen in two games from the Predators center who "likes to use his stick".

The Predators are counting on longtime goalie Pekka Rinne (9-3, 1.62 GAA, .942 SV%) to bounce back after his first subpar game this postseason. Arvidsson flipped a pass ahead of the Ducks' defenders to hit a streaking Johansen, who slipped the puck by Gibson for his third goal of the postseason. Anaheim needs Perry to start being a threat offensively. The Nashville Predators have split their last four games when allowing more than one goal. "Like, his family and his friends watching him play, I don't know how you can cheer for a guy like that", Johansen said. There's a real good chance he does so, but it won't be because Johansen isn't willing to go up against Kesler.

After some struggles early, John Gibson settled in, stopping 30 of the 33 shots he saw. His mental lapse on the final goal put a damper on an otherwise excellent performance that kept the Ducks in game three.

"No guy will use that as an excuse", said center Nate Thompson, who won the faceoff that led to Lindholm's tying goal.

The Ducks' defense came through with a remarkable offensive outing.

The Predators insist they can play that game too - and keep their cool no matter what pesky Ducks center Ryan Kesler does.

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He said: "We perhaps need to work a little more on the training sessions because the penalties have been very important". Manolo Gabbiadini's early spot kick was saved by Sergio Romero as Saints drew 0-0 with Manchester United at St Mary's .

Although this conference final matches two Sun Belt clubs 2,000 miles apart, they have a feisty history.

The Ducks started this season slowly as well, but surged down the stretch to a fifth straight division crown and a first-round sweep of Calgary.

Clearly, knocking Johansen off his game is important for Anaheim to advance. "It was their first game in a while".

Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that Gibson is getting better as the pressure mounts.

"We're a confident team", Josi said. We haven't played a team like that in a while.

"It's good to get that one". This is the first time in the playoffs Rinne has given up four goals in one game.

Nashville dominated the tired Ducks, and Forsberg forced a turnover on a forecheck before tipping Matt Irwin's shot through Gibson for his fourth goal.

Josi's game-winner was the first power-play goal of the series for Nashville.

A Corey Perry Power Play goal in the second period gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead entering the third, but there was no stopping the Preds.

NOTES: Anaheim remained without two key injured veterans.

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