Predators upset Ducks for first Stanley Cup final berth


Whether it's luck, tactics or some ineffable winning mentality, the Ducks haven't acquired it yet.

Nashville Predators fans cheer during the second period in Game 6 of the Western Conference final against the Anaheim Ducks in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Monday, May 22, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs often offer players the opportunity to break out and make a name for themselves. It doesn't matter what round it is.

Colton Sissons completed his hat trick with six minutes left in regulation to give the Nashville Predators a 6-3 win against the Anaheim Ducks and a place in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in the franchise's 19-year history. Laviolette won the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 and coached the Philadelphia Flyers to the final in 2010.

A pair of empty-netters made the final score 6-3, which doesn't come close to reflecting how close this game was or how Anaheim had the Predators on their heels for almost the whole thing.

After outlasting Edmonton in a seven-game series in the second round, they were even with the Predators after four games.

But they had goalie Jonathan Bernier making his first career playoff start with John Gibson scratched with a lower-body injury.

"What solidified it for me was after I had a conversation with David Poile and Lavvy and how they embraced me and just wanted me to do my job and be an important part in helping this team to win", said Subban, who has two goals and 10 points in the playoffs. "I just don't think they are much better than us".

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White, a Toronto native, started his career with the Los Angeles Kings in 1967 before being traded to Chicago during the 1969-70 season.

The Ducks have cemented their status as one of the best National Hockey League teams of this decade, but they've got remarkably little to show for their postseason endeavors.

It seemed that all night that Anaheim had the momentum. "I mean, I said it before earlier in the playoffs that this team's got tremendous amount of composure".

They also are the eighth team in the past 15 seasons to reach the Stanley Cup Final after finishing the regular season outside the top 10 in the final standings.

Sissons meanwhile described his three-goal blast as the latest stop on a season that had been a "wild ride", which has seen him drift in and out of the Predators starting line-up. Sissons's three-goal effort became the Predators' second-ever playoff hat trick, following Filip Forsberg's in 2015. When the Ducks desperately needed secondary scoring, their healthy veterans didn't provide it. But that didn't last long as Anaheim cut it to 2-1. Even though his numbers have gone down since the opening round, a.941 save percentage is astounding through 16 games this postseason. For a team with the power play-specific talents of Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Cam Fowler and Sami Vatanen, that's alarming and unacceptable.

Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle noted Rinne had eight plays on the puck alone in the first period of Game 5, a 3-1 Nashville win that put the Predators up 3-2 in the Western Conference finals.

Colton Sissons scored his third goal with 6:00 left, ensuring the Nashville Predators' magical postseason now includes the franchise's first trip to the Stanley Cup Finals after eliminating the Anaheim Ducks with a 6-3 win in Game 6 on Monday night.