By Michael Walters
The Ducks came out strong defensively in this game and held Nashville to no shots on net through the first five minutes. Anaheim would score halfway through the period as Shawn Horcoff would split the Nashville defense to find Jamie McGinn, who scored shooting the puck off Rinne’s skate and just inside the post. The Ducks then had a power play, but couldn’t convert. Nashville was awarded a power play at the end of the period that carried over to start the second. Shots were 8 to 6 in favor of Anaheim.
The Ducks killed of the penalty to start the period and continued to work the forecheck. Sami Vatanen would find Rickard Rakell in the slot and he would make a great play with his hands redirecting the puck past Rinne to give Anaheim a 2-0 lead. The Ducks would add another goal as Ryan Getzlaf would find Chris Stewart in front of the net. Stewart’s initial shot was blocked, but he got to the rebound and put it high over Rinne’s shoulder and in the net. Nashville was again awarded a power play last in the period that carried over to the third. Shots were 10 to 8 in favor of Anaheim.
Anaheim weathered a huge push by Nashville to start the final frame. The Ducks killed off the rest of the penalty from the end of the second period and then had to kill two more penalties as well. Anaheim had to play mainly in their zone for the first half of the period, but Andersen was equal to the task. Nashville tried to make a late push at the end of the game, but the Ducks kept them scoreless for the 3-0 win.
Key Moment of the Game
Stewart’s goal to make the game 3-0. At this point the three goal lead made the game almost impossible for Nashville to comeback. Heading in to the third period up 2-0 instead would have meant a goal by Nashville could have made the game interesting.
Key Stat of the Game
12 turnovers by Anaheim. In the first two games, the Ducks had 20+ turnovers in each game. In this contest they made better passes and handled the puck much better.
Player of the Game
Frederik Andersen. He came into a must win game for Anaheim and he more than delivered by shutting out Nashville. He stopped all 27 shots he faced.
The Ducks played their game tonight. They scored early and took the Nashville crowd out from the beginning of the contest. In the second period the crowd was back into the game, but the Ducks scored twice to build a 3-0 lead. The Ducks played much better defensively and they handled the puck cleaner than in the pervious two games. Anaheim was also discipline and skated away from any post whistle activity.
As Eddy and I discussed on the podcast, Boudreau had to make changes with his lineup and it worked. He started Andersen who was on his game all night, even despite being drilled in the helmet on a Shea Weber slap shot. Boudreau inserted Horcoff in the lineup, who has plenty of playoff experience and a sound defensive game. Boudreau also kept the Ryan Kesler line together, but then changed all three other lines, which is something Eddy and I hoped he would do. You can listen to the latest podcast here: Mission Impossible?
The Ducks face the Predators on Thursday at 5PM PT. We will have a watch party at Avila’s El Ranchito in Orange. For click here: DNP Watch Party
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