Nashville Predators vs. Anaheim Ducks - 5/16/17 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

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Nick Ritchie got the game-winning goal late in the period and Antione Vermette scored an insurance goal in the third.

In Game 2 of the Western Conference finals, however, the home team sprang brilliantly to life, soon enough this time to put together a 5-3 win and tie the series at a game apiece.

Nashville Predators centre Ryan Johansen didn't mince words with his assessment of Anaheim Ducks' Ryan Kesler after Game 2 of the Western Conference final on Sunday night. If Nashville is going to advance to the Stanley Cup Final they need Arvidsson to deliver in the offensive zone.

Vatanen finally converted for Anaheim, doing so in the first period after the Predators jumped out to an early 2-0 lead.

They have made the most of the opportunities they've had to play at home, though.

"It shows a lot of character", Rinne said.

"We weren't tight enough in front of him and they got a couple of good chances", Josi said.

"Obviously that's common sense", said Carlyle. "He's been great for us all playoffs". They can't afford to go into another 0-2 deficit, heading to Music City. Unfortunately for them, Nashville ended up playing their worst game of the playoffs in Game 2, specifically their goaltender Pekka Rinne. He's eager to remind everyone that he's only one component of a defensive group that has driven the Predators to these unprecedented post-season heights.

"Going out for the third, I think our guys stepped on the gas a little bit more", Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. There's a real good chance he does so, but it won't be because Johansen isn't willing to go up against Kesler. Forsberg collected a rebound and fired a short-sided shot from below the left face-off circle to beat Anaheim netminder John Gibson. With two shots the goalkeeper failed. I don't know how you cheer for a guy like that. "Whatever they did is fine, but it's on us". Pittsburgh drawing "first blood" in subsequent games of this series has never been so important, and it is their pathway to winning this series and advancing to the Cup Finals for a second consecutive season. Forsberg scored to give Nashville the lead back at the eight-minute mark, but Ondrej Kase tied the game back up less than three minutes later. Game 4 will be played in Nashville on Thursday night. May.

Evidently, the pitched fish was meant to carry on a Nashville Predators tradition, although it also allowed the Ducks, at the start, to be only the second most-dead thing inside Honda Center. "It was their first game in a while". We have to be better defensively. "We won't get too excited". We haven't played a team like that in a while. "They played hard at our net, bumping our goalie all night long, and we didn't do a good enough job getting inside". Jakob Silfverberg leads Anaheim with nine goals, Ryan Getzlaf has 10 assists and Rickard Rakell has 42 shots on goal.

That's how important depth is in the National Hockey League postseason, Kase, a 21-year-old from the Czech Republic in just his fifth career playoff game, coming through after replacing long-time Ducks staple Corey Perry.

The teams played a scoreless first period, though the Predators surged toward the end of the opening 20 minutes, taking 13 of the last 14 shots on goal.

NOTES: Anaheim remained without two key injured veterans. Nashville RW Craig Smith missed his third straight game due to an undisclosed injury. Bieksa is close to returning to health, while general manager Bob Murray said he is hopeful Eaves could play again in the postseason.

"Woah, what's with all the empty seats in Anaheim tonight?!" The sellout crowd filled in throughout the night. The top four in each group go through to the quarterfinals. The other one occurred in Game 7 during the second round against the Edmonton Oilers.