By Michael Walters
The Ducks came out better in the first period as compared to the last two games. Nate Thompson took an elbowing penalty against former Ducks Harry Zolnierczyk in the middle of the period. The Ducks killed it off and the teams battled to a scoreless tie. Nashville outshot Anaheim 17-9.
It appeared the Ducks scored early in the period when the Nashville net was dislodged, but the puck crossed the line. A review showed Mattias Ekholm had knocked the net off the moorings prior to the puck crossing the red line. There was no penalty called on Ekholm for delay of game. In the middle frame things then got chippy as Jared Boll made a clean, but hard check at center ice. Cody McLeod didn’t like the play and the two dropped the gloves. Both got five minutes for fighting, but McLeod also got an additional two for instigating and a game misconduct. On the ensuing power play, birthday boy Corey Perry scored to give Anaheim a 1-0 lead. The Ducks held that lead after two periods.
Nashville came out with a purpose in the final period. Filip Forsberg scored just under four minutes into the period to tie the game. The Predators continued to put pressure on Anaheim and thought they had taken the lead late on two separate occasions. In back-to-back sequences, Nashville scored but each time the goals were overturned because Gibson was interfered with. The second time the Ducks were awarded a power play, but couldn’t do anything with it. Then with just under four minutes to go, Chris Wagner was called for high sticking and Roman Josi scored on the power play. Nashville had a 2-1 lead and end up winning by the same score.
The Ducks had a better first period and start to the game as compared to the first couple of games at Honda Center. Anaheim had a good second period nearly scoring two times. The problem for Anaheim came in the third period. An early goal by Nashville energized the team and Anaheim couldn’t handle the pressure. It looked like the Ducks might be able to at least get to overtime after two Predators goals were overturned, but a late penalty on Chris Wagner cost them. The Ducks couldn’t kill off the penalty and lost as a result. The third period was one of the worst for Anaheim this postseason as they didn’t register a shot on goal in the final 11 minutes of the game. They are going to need a better 60 minute effort if they want to tie this series again tomorrow.
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May 17th, 2017