National Hockey League playoffs 2017: James Neal's goal gives Predators OT win over Ducks


Game 3 is Tuesday night in Nashville, where the Predators have won nine straight playoff games dating to a year ago, including a league-best 5-0 this postseason. The Predators were rolling early, grabbing a 2-0 lead just 8:32 into the game on a breakaway goal from Johansen and a goal from James Neal against equally suspect goaltender John Gibson, who lost sight of the puck and was way out of position, allowing Neal time to tuck it into a wide open net. Forsberg scored to give Nashville the lead back at the eight-minute mark, but Ondrej Kase tied the game back up less than three minutes later.

Rinne looked particularly out of sorts on Ritchie's goal that gave the Ducks a 4-3 lead. Nashville was scoreless through two periods - despite a decisive edge in shots - but hit the net twice in the final 20 minutes, the second on a power play goal by Roman Josi with 2:43 to go.

For good measure, Antoine Vermette added an empty-net goal with 44 seconds to play. Since the start of February, Getzlaf has put up 16 goals and 50 points in 40 games.

A late push by the Predators was ultimately thwarted by John Gibson and the Ducks very strong defensive play. Hundreds of empty orange seats ringed the rink while the Nashville Predators largely dominated the first two periods of their 3-2 overtime victory.

We're willing to bet those weren't the first or last tall boys the guys put down on Tuesday night. "And on one flurry it went to 14", Carlyle said. Shooting from just below the Nashville goal line, Perry's attempt bounced off Rinne's skate and slid behind the goaltender. It was only fitting that Anaheim pulled off another improbable victory, after doing so in the first two rounds, erasing three-goal leads in games against Calgary and Edmonton.

"So I just closed my eyes and shot it in there", Vatanen said with his usual Finnish deadpan delivery.

Nonetheless the Anaheim Ducks won game two in an exciting fashion.

"Gibby played well for us", Perry said.

Johansen may not have to worry about Kesler's stick as often the next two games, including Game 3 Tuesday night.

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"We know how important these games are", Carlyle said, "and every one gets more important as we go forward".

ANA vs. NSH - Series tied 1-1 - Game three tomorrow night in Nashville.

Welcome to the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs, in which the Anaheim Ducks have proven to be kings of the comeback.

Monday when the Predators returned to Nashville, head coach Peter Laviolette was repeatedly asked about Johansen's comments, what was happening on the ice, and what would happen, but he was only interested in talking about one thing- how well Johansen has played.

"He just blows my mind", said Johansen to media members after Game 2.

The Ducks see the problem as largely mental, and they intend to address it in the hours before the series resumes.

While Young may be busy on the road for the They Don't Know Tour with Jason Aldean as well as promoting his brand new single, "Losing Sleep", but he still squeezes in enough time to bring his "fang fingers" out on display to watch the boys in gold and navy move on to the next playoff round.

The Ducks sent a message to the Predators in Game 2. With two shots the goalkeeper failed.

Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that Gibson is getting better as the pressure mounts. We just really keep the same approach.