Nashville Predators 3, Anaheim Ducks 4: Preds squander multiple leads as Anaheim's stars shine.
The Ducks take the first of three meeting this season, powered by the play of their superstars.
The Nashville Predators can seemingly never find their balance. There have been plenty of times this season where they are out of the game by the end of the first period. Conversely, there have also been times where they roar out to a start, only to take years of their fans life by letting the opposition creep back. Tonight, against the Anaheim Ducks, it was the latter.
Nashville got the jump on the league's best team with goals from Paul Gaustad and Craig Smith. A lead that early though was never safe, as the Ducks had scored 149 goals this season, third best in the league. Sure enough, their big guns game out firing. Ryan Getzlaf sniped two shots through Marek Mazanec to knot the game, before #Grit Clune somehow bunted a puck into the net out of midair. Corey Perry tied the game again, before Ageless Wonder Teemu Selanne gave them a lead they would never relinquish.
- Mazanec showed his inexperience tonight and it was at the expense of all the Ducks' top guns. I'd buy an argument that there wasn't much he could do on the first Getzlaf goal, but his second and Perry's were one-on-one. Cue all the jokes about not being good enough for this league. Actually, please don't.
- Props on that shorthanded stop on Daniel Winnik in the third, though.
- The Rich Clune goal is all about blind squirrels and such. The problem is the coach may be salivating at it so much (including Gaustad's goal and Hendricks' assist) that he stays in the lineup when Patric Hornqvist is back in. I'm in the camp that thinks Filip Forsberg would be better suited cutting his teeth in Milwaukee, but as long as he's up here he damn well better see some good ice time. Let's not get a couple of gritty goals distort the picture here, Barry.
We're all tired of hearing about moral victories, and coughing up leads (even if it is to the best team) is never fun. The Ducks are a scorching team and the Preds are, well, the Preds. Still, it would have been great to hang on and win that one.
Boxscore - Game Summary - Event Summary - Fancy Stats
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