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Neal's goal gives Predators OT win over Ducks

14 May 2017

The Western Conference has come down to the Ducks vs Predators. The Ducks have reached this round for the fifth time in their history and the fourth since the 2004-05 lockout. They're 0 for 21 with the man advantage since late in Game 2 against Edmonton on April 28. Andrew Cogliano and Nick Ritchie scored the goals to back a 23-save effort from John Gibson (7-3, 2.80 GAA, .908 SV%). Gibson was great in Game 7 but was pulled after allowing three soft goals in the first period of Game 6.

Through two playoff rounds, the Predators have looked a lot more like champions-in-the-making than unheralded underdogs.

The Ducks got the secondary scoring they needed in Game 7 after seeing the offense largely carried by Ryan Getzlaf, Jakob Silfverberg and Rickard Rakell.

Nashville dominated the exhausted Ducks, and Forsberg forced a turnover on a forecheck before tipping Matt Irwin's shot through Gibson for his fourth goal.

Two of the three games between these teams during the regular season were blowouts. We worked and we deserved to be in that position.

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"People just want to be with this team, and we just love this fan base", Henry said. "We zone in and we focus on that". They were highly disciplined and frustrated the hell out of the Hawks with their structured play. It is possible that Bieksa takes Theodore's place if he draws in. Clayton Stoner is available to them but will be a healthy scratch.

The Ducks are now the second worst playoff team at killing penalties, the worst being the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Game 2 comes on Saturday at the Honda Center in Anaheim. With the Pens winning the series, I can see them making it to the final round. It was a hard series. "You don't see that at a lot of hockey games". The Ducks dropped five straight Games 7, including four straight in Anaheim before exorcising some demons with a 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 7 to close out their second-round series on Tuesday night. The goal was the veteran forward's third in four games.

Josi is expecting the Ducks to come at them in the same manner the Blues did last round.

Nashville Predators' Filip Forsberg, center, celebrates his goal against the Anaheim Ducks with teammates Matt Irwin, right, and Viktor Arvidsson during the first period of Game 1 in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conferen. "It definitely prepared us for this series".

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Watson then put the Predators ahead early in the second period with his first playoff goal, banking his shot in off Anaheim defenseman Sami Vatanen. His loss means the Predators are able to target Getzlaf and Perry together at once while also possibly putting the spotlight on Vermette as he gets more ice time. He's been awesome for us. Marc-Andre Fleury has been fantastic and his trade value is skyrocketing, while the battered defence corps continues to overcome injuries and complementary players like Bryan Rust and Jake Guentzel keep coming up with important goals.

Kevin Fiala will be out for the remainder of the playoffs because of a broken left leg suffered in Game 1 against St. Louis. "As you said, he's going to play half the game".

"With each round and each series it's a new challenge and every team is going to play a little different".

Anaheim have exorcised their one big demon, and now, they'll have a chance to do it again against the team who have bested them in two prior post season matchups.

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Neal's goal gives Predators OT win over Ducks