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Ducks' John Gibson great but Nashville is for real

20 Mai 2017

They scored the first goal of the game in the first period, allowing them to lock in head coach Guy Boucher's 1-3-1 modified trap system that precludes teams from rushing the puck up the ice with speed through the neutral zone, forcing them to chip the puck in and retrieve it beneath the goal line in the offensive zone.

Sweden's Jakob Silfverberg, Sami Vatanen, Ondrej Kase and Antoine Vermette, into an empty net, also scored for the Ducks, who avoided going into an 0-2 hole for the second straight series with the win.

The Predators took another lead when Forsberg converted a rebound of a breakaway by speedy Viktor Arvidsson, who had two assists. Nick Ritchie broke the tie with 2:53 left in the second, giving Anaheim the lead. Anaheim carried the play more in the second, but Pekka Rinne remained solid as he has been the entire playoffs so far, keeping the score at 2-1 Nashville entering the third.

When Ottawa scores the first goal, as they did in Game 1, they can tighten the screws with their modified trap and make it hard for Pittsburgh to produce scoring chances created with their speed through the middle of the ice, which they are used to doing against many teams.

Still, it was Anaheim goalie John Gibson who was causing Nashville the most worry. It was a tough night for Gibson, who made several spectacular saves to keep the Ducks ahead through two periods.

"I don't think you can put it any other way: We need to emotionally get ourselves involved in the game right away", Cogliano said.

Ryan Johansen didn't hold back when asked about Ryan Kesler, but getting under the skin of those he plays against is nothing new for the Ducks pesky pivot. They even had less power plays but converted on half of them.

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The gold-clad crowd helped the Predators come out buzzing to start the third, and it wasn't long before they tied it. In their Game 2 triumph, Vatanen scored while Cam Fowler had two assists and Shea Theodore, Josh Manson and Brandon Montour each had one. "It just doesn't make sense how he plays the game, so I'm just trying to go out there and play hockey and it sucks when you gotta pull a stick out of your groin every shift".

It was something else Tuesday night.

"Gibby gave us a chance". They might have outscored the Ducks by only one goal, but their efforts were that of a team desperate to overwhelm with aggressiveness and persistent in attempts to capitalize on some undisciplined play by the Ducks. "We think that moving him up and down in our lineup gives us some flexibility, because he's a fearless player for his size", Carlyle said of Kase.

The result of those moves was a Cup celebration and parade last summer, and they continue to pay dividends.

Things got chippy as the teams established a level of hatred one would expect with a conference final. The breakthrough came 14:32 into the first when Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin left a blind drop pass behind his net that Ryan intercepted and slipped to Pageau in the right circle.

"We're a confident team", Josi said. "They found a way to claw back". We weren't our best, but we lost in overtime.

Anaheim at Nashville, 7 p.m. He also said he has received lots of text messages from family and friends telling him they will still cheer him on.

Ducks' John Gibson great but Nashville is for real