Ducks even Western Conference series with 5-3 win over Predators

FILE- In this Feb. 28 2017 file

"I just closed my eyes and shot it as hard as I could", Vatanen said, vouching for the wisdom of simple fans.

But thanks to some spotty goaltending, a wild second period and another timely goal from Nick Ritchie, the Ducks defeated the Predators 5-3 at the Honda Center and head to Nashville tied 1-1 in the best-of seven Western Conference final.

Jakob Silfverberg scored on the Ducks' first shot, and Gibson stopped 43 shots in a stellar performance. "Maybe sometimes we shouldn't wait for that to get going".

Next stop is Nashville, for Game 3 Tuesday.

As the Conference Finals continue we'll give you a recap from last night's game and what to look for in tonight's action.

Nashville has a serious challenge now, and adversity has arrived in the form of Ryan Kesler, the Ducks' defense-minded center.

Kesler leaned against a wall in the hallway outside the Anaheim dressing room and said he laughed when he heard Johansen's comments. They have tremendous scoring balance as their forwards and defensemen are all capable of chipping in. Johansen said he didn't know how Kesler plays like that - repeatedly poking him in the groin with his stick - with family and friends watching.

A pair of Anaheim blunders allowed Nashville to take a 2-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game.

The Ducks enjoyed a timely breakthrough and held on to even their series at 1-1 as it heads to Nashville. "But we still battled back".




Betting line: The Predators opened as -150 favorites (wager $150 to win $100); the total is at five goals, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. Ondrej Kase's goal came on his third shot on goal of the game.

So maybe it wasn't a surprise to see him and Predators top-line center Ryan Johansen going head-to-head from the opening draw of Game 2.

Shortly after, the Ducks' Nick Ritchie committed a penalty and gave the Preds their first power play opportunity of the night. It was the second time in five nights that Ritchie had gotten the BLT goal, the one that Broke the Last Tie. Johansen, between Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg, has been almost unstoppable this postseason-they've got 30 points among them, with Johansen pacing the team in assists with 10.

But the Ducks pulled even again on the first career playoff goal for Kase, the aggressive Czech rookie, who slipped a puck through traffic. The rest of the consistently surprising Senators, too.

Subban, who hoped to have a cupcake Saturday to celebrate his 28th birthday, is regularly dazzling his teammates during the Predators' playoff run. “Playing a full season and getting into playoff action has been great for me. "That's all I'm trying to do". Series tied 1-1.

Not that it seems to bother Ottawa. Kesler only has one point in the series.

"It shows a lot of character", Rinne said. If anything, he's embraced it. Pekka Rinne recorded 22 saves. Getzlaf has 18 points in the postseason, trailing only Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin (19). The problem wasn't Ottawa's neutral zone trap created to slow teams down but a decided lack of aggression once Malkin, captain Sidney Crosby and company crossed the Senators' blue line. We have celebrated hat tricks with some of our players in the past.

Oh, there was the curious backwards pass that Silfverberg tried to send toward Getzlaf, which became a runaway for Nashville and a goal by Filip Forsberg that made it 3-2. "We're just going in there and going to try to take care of business". He entered Game 2 of the Western Conference Final with a 0.950 save percentage, a 1.41 goals against average and nine wins (not to mention three assists) - all tops in the National Hockey League. "It's a tough break, tough play. for sure, I want to have that back". We weren't our best, but we lost in overtime.

"Joey is one of the best centermen in the game right now, and I think if people didn't know that before the playoffs, they know that now". The puck zipped over Fleury's glove and suddenly Ottawa had the lead. Gibson hasn't been strong enough in net to stop that volume of shots.

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