Nashville Predators 2, Anaheim Ducks 1: Goose > Duck, Preds Advance

The Predators win their first game 7 in franchise history. What, like it was hard?

Your Nashville Predators beat the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 in Game 7 tonight to advance in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The series winning goal scorer was Paul Gaustad.

Really. Paul Gaustad scored the series winning goal.

In a game where the Ducks dominated puck-possession, the Predators built a storm-proof shelter in front of Pekka Rinne and found a way to win. Rinne finished with 36 saves, following his 2nd best performance of the post-season with his 1st best. The Preds defense did their job too, blocking 24 shots in front of him. The offense came from your regular-season goal leaders James Neal and Filip Forsberg some guys named Colin and Paul.

This was one of the grittiest performances that I can remember in Predators history. The Ducks brought everything, and continually found ways to build momentum... but the Predators were there to meet them at every turn.

Colin Wilson and Paul Gaustad scored goals for the Predators, while Ryan Kesler scored for the Ducks. Frederik Andersen finished with 18 saves.

And guess what? The Preds are moving on. You now get (at minimum) four more games of this madness. Better get some sleep.

Random Observations

  • Ducks with some early pressure, but the Preds defense is able to get some stick in the way at the right time. Rinne with a couple key saves early. I can't tell you how nervous I am right now. I am having to look at every key as I type.
  • WILLLLLLLLLSSSSSSOOOOOOONNNNNN! Filthy, filthy mitts. That backhand is so key to his game. What a fantastic early goal. BOOOOM.
  • Oh wow. Preds draw a penalty and then Neal gets slashed. HUGE 5-on-3 coming up here. Only about 30 seconds to work with... need to work fast.
  • Ducks kill it off. Could be a huge momentum swing for them. BUT THEN THE PREDS SCORE! Gaustad tips home a Weber shot!! But now they will review it. Did he use a high stick?? NO. NO HE DID NOT. TWO NOTHING PREDS.
  • Things I liked in the 1st period: The score. The speed of the Preds 3rd and 4th lines. The defensive support from the blue-liners. Colin Wilson.
  • Things I don't like about the 2nd period so far: The Ducks pressure. Josi in the penalty box. Some wayyyy too early turtle-ing.
  • The Preds mounting some counter-attacks, with Viktor Arvidsson being the leader of the charge. The Ducks are really trying to bring the physical game here in the middle frame (Getzlaf put the wood to Arvy at one point), but they are leaving some lanes open. You'd like to see the Preds take advantage of some vacated space and break out in an odd-man rush.
  • After two, the Preds still lead. Nashville is doing a great job of limiting high danger chances, despite a ton of Anaheim possession. Only 5 high-danger scoring chances allowed by the Preds at even-strength, despite giving up 61% Corsi-For possession to the Ducks. Welcome to the razor's edge, I guess.
  • Kesler scores early in the 3rd period, with the Ducks on the power-play. This will not be a fun 3rd period.
  • Fisher with a high-stick. Power-play for the Ducks. A huge moment in this game will commence.
  • The Preds escape the 2nd power-play of the 3rd period, but have oh -so much time remaining in this 3rd period. They absolutely cannot kill a 15 minute penalty against this team. Offense will be needed.
  • Shea Weber just came off the top rope on Perron, pro-wrestling style. But Perron had interfered with Rinne, so both get a penalty. Then Getzlaf gets a tripping call and the Predators burn some minutes with the extra man before the penalty is called. No hyperbole: a goal on the power-play here would be humongous.
  • 1:32 left and the Ducks call a timeout.
  • Screw offense, build a fortification in front of Rinne and defend it with the heart of a thousand French revolutionaries.

OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game

  • Pekka Rinne: 36 bleeping saves. Unbelievable performance. Hells yeah.
  • Paul Gaustad: Gooooooooooose with a clutch moment to help advance the team. Also 71% on the face-offs. Incredible.
  • Colin Wilson: insane goal to open the game and also made a huge play to keep possession on the Gaustad goal/

Tweets of the Night

Boxscore - Game Summary - Event Summary - War-on-Ice - HockeyStats - Natural Stat Trick

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