By Michael Walters
After getting back in the series in game three, the Anaheim Ducks looked to tie the series against the Nashville Predators. Frederik Andersen went in net for Anaheim and Pekka Rinne was in goal for Nashville.
The Ducks scored just over a minute into the game as David Perron took a shot, which caused the puck to get stuck under Rinne’s leg pad. Ryan Getzlaf was there to knock the puck in the back of the net before Rinne could locate it. The Ducks had a power play when delay of game was called against Nashville. The power play was short-lived as Perron was called for tripping shortly after. Nashville had a power play chance later in the period, but didn’t convert. Ducks lead 1-0 and shots were seven apiece in the period.
The teams traded power play chances early in the period, but the score remained the same. Then Nashville started to make a push and controlled the tempo of the game for a solid five or six minutes. Mike Fisher would tie the game as Colin Wilson found him on the side of the net. The Ducks were then awarded a power play, which was again short-lived as Perron was called for another penalty. After both penalties were over, the teams went back to 4-on-4 play when matching minors called on each team. Nate Thompson would make a great play out waiting Rinne and shooting the puck just past him to give Anaheim the 2-1 lead. Shortly after, with the teams back to even strength, Jamie McGinn would score as he redirected a puck in mid-air off Rinne’s leg pad and just inside the post. The Ducks finished the final seconds on the power play as Mike Ribeiro slashed Corey Perry. The penalty carried over to the third period. Ducks lead 3-1 and Predators lead in shots 16 to 12.
Nashville killed off the Ribeiro penalty and then had two power play chances. The Ducks kill off both penalties as Nashville tried to make a push. The Ducks played another solid third period defensively. Late in the period Andrew Cogliano would score to make it 4-1 and essentially end the game. With about one minute and 30 seconds to go, Shea Weber took his frustration out on Perron and received four minutes for roughing. The Ducks finished the game on the power play and won 4-1.
Key Moment of the Game
Jamie McGinn’s goal. The Ducks had a 2-1 lead late in the second period and McGinn’s goal gave the Ducks more momentum heading into the third. The Predators appeared frustrated at that point and never recovered in the game.
Key Stat of the Game
100% penalty killing by Anaheim. The Ducks were down a man six times in this game and didn’t allow one goal while short-handed. The Ducks have only allowed one power play goal in this series. The Ducks penalty kill has been 94.7% efficient in this series.
Frederik Andersen. He was sharp again in this contest only giving up one goal on 31 shots on net. He has helped the Ducks turn this series around and make it a best of three.
The Ducks needed two wins in Nashville and they accomplished that by getting back to their style of play. In this game, Anaheim scored first again. To Nashville’s credit they fought back in the first 10 minutes of the second and tied the game. However, the Ducks responded with two goals and another solid defensive third period. Game four was very similar to game three for Anaheim.
In this contest the Ducks did an excellent job of handling the puck by only committing six turnovers in the game. Anaheim won the face-off battle and had played the better physical game. The Nashville team that had frustrated Anaheim in game two got a test of their own medicine as they took unnecessary penalties in this game. The Ducks played discipline in this game again by not retaliating. Another big difference for Anaheim has been the willingness to go to the net. All four of Anaheim’s goal were the result of a player going to the net to get a rebound, accept a pass, or make an individual move to score a goal. If Anaheim keeps this type of play up, then it’s going to be difficult for any team to beat them in a seven game series.
What’s Up Next?
The Ducks face the Predators Saturday at Honda Center at 3PM PT.