Ducks' John Gibson great but Nashville is for real


Filip Forsberg tied the game with a deflection goal at 12:34 of the first, as Nashville heavily controlled the opening period.

The Predators are the first National Hockey League team in 20 years to win 10 consecutive home playoff games. Taking the puck wide, Perry banked a shot off Pekka Rinne to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead. The fourth draw resulted in an Anaheim empty-net goal just nine seconds later.

That the Johansen line has combined for three goals and eight points in two games on the road, where they have seen a steady diet of slashes and hacks from Ryan Kesler and the Ducks' shutdown line, has been even more impressive. Bob Murray also cleared the way for goaltender John Gibson to be the man, sending Frederik Andersen to Toronto last summer in a trade that could be talked about for years to come if the Dane helps the Maple Leafs on a run like this.

The NHL playoff game between the Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators will be broadcast on the NBCSN and Sportsnet and CBC in Canada.

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.

"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". But with less than two minutes to play, the Ducks got a power play opportunity and cashed in as Sami Vatanen scored his first of the playoffs to cut the lead to one after 20 minutes.

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Otherwise, these Penguins could turn into mice and continue to get caught in the Senators' trap.

"It doesn't matter if I did or didn't get in his head for me", Kesler said Tuesday, a few hours before Game 3. "It's a tough break, tough play and personally, for sure, I want to have that back".

Game 2 was another tight, low-scoring game, but the ice was clearly tilted Pittsburgh's way in the third period.

"The one thing that's been consistent with him (is) he's been a type of Energizer Bunny", said coach Randy Carlyle, speaking of Ondrej Kase and inviting a fuzzy fictional character into a very cold and real ice hockey showdown.

They opened Game 1 on Friday with sloth-like sluggishness, the Ducks performing in a manner that suggested they forgot the players are expected to take their pregame naps before arriving at the arena. "It gives us that extra boost and that extra energy that we needed". Now, the series moves to Nashville tied as the Predators lost just their third game in this postseason so far. After the game, he said he just has to focus on his game. "They played hard at our net, bumping our goalie all night long, and we didn't do a good enough job getting inside".

Even in uncharted territory for this franchise, the Predators are still rolling through the Stanley Cup playoffs with their distinct combination of smash and flash. If you look at the first period, they really came on us with a lot of pressure. He's eager to remind everyone that he's only one component of a defensive group that has driven the Predators to these unprecedented post-season heights. Nashville RW Craig Smith missed his third straight game. "Whether it's overtime or third period or we're leading or we're trailing". Like every time they stand up and they just keep cheering, keep cheering.