Going in to today’s game, the story of the series has been officiating, injuries, and officiating as it relates to injuries. Getting through the game without anyone else dropping was the goal.
The first period featured a couple of bad offensive zone penalties by the Preds but ended 0-0 with shots tied at 10 a piece. Despite missing half of their top six, the Predators didn’t look outmatched at all.
The second period was tighter, but an unfortunate play combined with the lack of footspeed by the fourth line and a very fluky bounce lead to the Ducks taking a 1-0 lead off a rebound. Never fear, Forsberg continued to sacrifice his beauty by getting cross checked in the face and Playoff Colin Wilson (tm) tied the game at 1-1.
The third period had a bit more pace and physicality, if that were even possible. There was a scary moment when Aberg bounced his face on the ice, chipping the crap out of his front teeth, but never fear! An incredible play by Ekholm led to Aberg’s first ever playoff goal, 2-1. The Preds completely locked down the neutral zone after their go-ahead goal until Austin “Matthews” Watson scored an empty net goal from between the dots in the Preds’ own zone. And then P.K. took a penalty with twenty seconds to go, and there was an ensuing fracas, including Ekholm finally getting to throw some punches.
Tweets of the Game
Rinne okay to cover the puck outside the trapezoid since he was in the process of making a save.— Scouting The Refs (@ScoutingTheRefs) May 21, 2017
You had Arvidsson, Jarnkrok, Ekholm, Forsberg, and Åberg al involved in that goal. #TENNESSWEDEN— Dan D Bradley (@DanDBradley) May 21, 2017
(Whispers) Ekholm has been Nashville’s best defenseman in the playoffs.— Jim Diamond (@diamondhockey) May 21, 2017
Pooooowwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!— Ryan Johansen (@RyanJohansen19) May 21, 2017
OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Mattias Ekholm. Best game by him in a series where he’s been the best defenseman by a country mile, plus he finally got to fight.
- Pekka Rinne. He had the net locked down all night despite the aforementioned fluky play.
- Pontus Aberg. First ever playoff goal scored and he probably doesn’t have a concussion. Good job all around.