Can never-say-die Ducks catch up with Nashville's nimble ska

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Can never-say-die Ducks catch up with Nashville's nimble ska

Notapor lucky » Jue May 18, 2017 9:00 am

Defenseman Roman Josi's power-play goal with 2:43 remaining in regulation gave the Nashville Predators a 2-1 win in Game 3 on Tuesday and an identical series lead over the Anaheim Ducks Martin St. Louis Authentic Jersey in the Western Conference finals. The late goal, which came after Ducks winger Chris Wagner took a high-sticking penalty in the offensive zone, capped the Predators' comeback after Ducks winger Corey Perry opened the scoring with 4:25 remaining in the second period. Predators center Filip Forsberg tied the game 3:54 into the third, beating goaltender John Gibson from a severe angle for his team-leading sixth goal of the postseason. To his credit, Gibson was excellent, with 38 saves for the Ducks. Goalie Pekka Rinne stopped 19 shots for Nashville. How it happened: In the franchise's first home game in the conference finals, Nashville almost played second fiddle to Gibson. After an overshadowed 43-save outing in Game 1 and a standout 30-save performance in the Ducks' series-tying win in Game 2, Gibson appeared to be taking over this series. After years of being touted as the Ducks' future franchise goalie, the 23-year-old goaltender was excellent in a lackluster Anaheim performance Tuesday. He certainly kept the Ducks afloat in the second period, which started with the Predators owning an 8-0 shot advantage through the first 11:41. That Josi's winner came on the power play was a welcome relief for the Predators, who were 0-for-11 with the man advantage in the series up until the defenseman jumped on a rebound of a Mattias Ekholm shot. That performance was a precipitous drop for a Nashville power play that was already struggling coming into the series. Through the first two rounds, the Predators went 5-for-25 with the man advantage, an unimpressive 20 percent clip.
Controversy: Ducks winger Jared Boll's open-ice hit on Harry Zolnierczyk left the Predators' forward down, and Preds winger Cody McLeod dropped the gloves with the Anaheim Brook Lopez Authentic Jersey fourth-liner. The spirited exchange resulted in a two-minute instigator penalty for McLeod and a furious tirade directed at the officials by Nashville coach Peter Laviolette, who felt Boll's hit merited a penalty. Perry opened the scoring on the ensuing Ducks power play, leaving the home crowd noticeably upset. What's next: With the Predators two wins shy of advancing to the Stanley Cup finals, these two teams will renew acquaintances in Game 4 Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena. Look for the Ducks to be desperate, because another loss will put them on the brink of elimination The 2017 NHL draft class is without the fanfare of the prior two seasons, due to the lack of bona fide elite prospects at the very top of the class. That doesn't mean the class is devoid of talent, but everything gets shifted downward without a player such as Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews available for the taking. Without a true top talent or two, players who would usually be selected Nos. 3-6 go at the top, players who would normally go in the teens are in the discussion in the top 10, and so on throughout the first round. The result is a draft class that is projected to be below average. Although discussions with many sources in the industry take place to gather information, the rankings, profiles and analysis are completely my own and reflect my opinion of who I believe the top prospects in the Authentic #58 Kwon Alexander Youth Jersey draft class are. These might differ from the industry -- at times in a significant manner. This is not a projection of what will transpire on draft day in Chicago; for that, be sure to check out my forthcoming mock draft. Heading into a pivotal Game 4 of the Western Conference finals in Nashville on Thursday, the Nashville Predators have an opportunity to take a three-games-to-one stranglehold on the series -- while the Anaheim Ducks will try to even the series and turn this into a three-game affair. Nashville was dominant in Game 3, doubling up the Ducks in shots on goal as they forged through two disallowed goals and superb goaltending from John Gibson to outright own the latter half of the third period. The Predators managed to hold Anaheim without a shot for most of the final frame, even when the Ducks pulled Gibson for the extra attacker. "I just don't think Anaheim can handle Nashville's speed," said Bernie Nicholls, a former 70-goal scorer who averaged over a point per game in his career. "The way they're trying to stop them [is] to be physical with them, which you have to be. But it's tough to hit something that you can't catch." He compared Nashville's speed, aggressiveness and depth with that of the Pittsburgh Penguins during their triumphant dash to the Stanley Cup last season.
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