Ducks eager for rematch with Rinne's Predators in West final

Beth Cruz
May 17, 2017

Nashville has dropped five straight regular-season games in Anaheim but won three there in last year's playoffs. Five years later, Nashville stole the first two games of the clubs' first-round series at Honda Center before winning the final two, including a nail-biting 2-1 victory in a Game 7 dominated by Rinne.

The Ducks had gone six playoff games without lighting the lamp on a power play.

The Leafs were fortunate to have a strong offensive game led by Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner. The power play needs to be an effective tool to beat Rinne, and since he's been playing so well, the Ducks need to take advantage when they have an extra attacker.

The Ducks didn't feel they lost to all the Predators in last year's first series.

Now while the Leafs do not necessarily have to follow what Anaheim and Nashville did, it is hard to argue with their results.

They'll need that mindset because the Nashville Predators have spent much of the postseason with their foot on the gas and are not willing to let up now.

The Ducks' desire to dump Bobby Ryan in the summer of 2013 is finally starting to work out for the Senators, who paid a hefty price of Jakob Silfverberg and prospect Stefan Noesen (more on that later) to get the scoring winger. Past year during the playoffs, they faced the Predators in the first round and were eliminated largely thanks to Rinne.

In any other forum, that wouldn't be the soundest business model, but this is the Stanley Cup playoffs. Cogliano ended a personal 13-game playoff goal drought for the speedy ex-Oilers forward who hasn't missed a game in his entire 10-year National Hockey League career.

A furious second period in which the Ducks evened the score two times after trailing by a goal would not be enough. It's our turn to serve, and holding serve means that we go on.

Pekka Rinne stopped 27 shots for the Predators, who are 9-2 in the playoffs after failing to win more than seven games in a single postseason.

"It's always important it's a part of our mentality to get as many shots as we can", Josi added.

Yet, they still gave up the first goal, took the first penalty, surrendered the first power-play goal, took the second penalty, allowed the second goal and, 16 minutes in, had just two shots on goal. The first goal of the playoffs for Lindholm came at the flawless time, getting the crowd back into a game that nearly got out of hand when the Predators were handed a 5-on-3 power play for over 90 seconds in the third frame.

Rinne made 22 saves for the Predators, who faced relatively little adversity while steamrolling Chicago and St. Louis in the first two rounds on the way to the first conference finals in franchise history. For a fleeting moment two minutes into the game, the overhead scoreboards listed the Ducks as having 99 shots on goal instead of the one they actually had at that point.

Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

It was Josi's fourth goal of the playoffs and continued a pattern of Predators defensemen supplying scoring.

Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm told the NHL's official website that the team likes the position it's in, but can't ease up either.

The Predators even went up 2-0 in Game 2 with a goal by James Neal.

They discovered that being the team to score first in these games really wasn't worth much. John Gibson has made some big saves for the Ducks, but he's been far from flawless this postseason.

Anaheim won its first-ever playoff series after trailing 2-0.

Coach Randy Carlyle noted that the Ducks got off to a sluggish start - they were outshot 15-6 in the first period - and that can not happen again.

Coaching advantage: With two veteran coaches behind the bench in Randy Carlyle and Peter Laviolette, we're calling this a draw.

Ducks - D Kevin Bieksa (Questionable, lower body), RW Patrick Eaves (Questionable, lower body), RW Logan Shaw (Questionable, lower body), D Simon Despres (Out Indefinitely, concussion), D Clayton Stoner (Out Indefinitely, abdominal). During that time, Pittsburgh is 4-0 in game sevens.

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