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Johansen and Kesler take spotlight in Western Conference Final

19 Mai 2017

Series tied 1-1The Anaheim Ducks are repeatedly driving home one point against their opponents on their run to the Western Conference finals: No lead is safe against them.

Game 2 is Sunday night. "So you watch throughout the series and throughout the playoffs, so far he takes pride in throwing guys off their game".

The Anaheim Ducks were down a game in the Western Conference finals and down 2-0 in Game 2 against Pekka Rinne, the most dominant goalie in these Stanley Cup playoffs.

At the other end, John Gibson surrendered a breakaway goal to Ryan Johansen just 4:18 into the game, then inexplicably pulled off his post at the moment James Neal took a pass along the goal-line, making for one of the easier tucks of Neal's playoff career.

Now the question is not can the Ducks win on the road, it is will they win on the road?

With the series tied at one game apiece, the two teams now head to Ottawa for Game 3 on Wednesday night.

Instead, Anaheim rallied from a two-goal or larger deficit to win for the fourth time this postseason, matching wins in Game 3 against Calgary in the first round, and Game 4 and Game 5 against Edmonton in the second round. I like Nashville to take the opener tonight.

The Predators grabbed a 2-1 lead in the series with their 10th straight home win in the postseason going back to last season.

It was somewhat humourous - and just a tad premature - when a reporter asked Anaheim Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle if Sunday night's game was of the "must-win" variety. He'll have the crowd on his side in the next two games, which is bad news for the Ducks: Rinne is 5-0 at Bridgestone Arena this postseason.

Nashville also had two more goal shots waved off in one eight-second spell, both denied by goaltender interference.

Roman Josi, Predators - Josi is tied with fellow defenseman Ryan Ellis with 10 points in these playoffs, second in the National Hockey League behind Erik Karlsson. In overtime, it was right there for the taking. "We knew the building was going to be loud and they were going to come hard". "You always try to establish your home building, tough place to play".

The now-familiar ominous hush fell over Honda Center, but the Ducks got going in an unlikely scenario.

"Sometimes when you get chances like that it helps you later if you get another chance to score", Ritchie said.

Anaheim seemed to steal ironman Andrew Cogliano from the Oilers in 2011 for a second-round pick and have gotten a higher-than-expected offensive output from Nate Thompson, who cost spare parts in a 2014 trade with Tampa Bay. Converting on just one of those opportunities could have changed the outcome entirely. We haven't played a team like that in a while.

Harry Zolnierczyk, a former minor leaguer in the Ducks' system, could draw in for Game 3. "Whatever they did is fine, but it's on us". Like his family and his friends watching him play, I don't know how you cheer for a guy like that. "It gave them a lot of momentum and sucked the life out of us, so we need to make sure that we turn that around (in Game 2)".

A late push by the Predators was ultimately thwarted by John Gibson and the Ducks very strong defensive play.

For the first time in the 2017 National Hockey League playoffs, it just wasn't Pekka Rinne's night. Stream every single game of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs with Sportsnet NOW. "We don't let the gas [pedal] off in what we want to do".

Johansen and Kesler take spotlight in Western Conference Final