What Happened Last Night: Nashville Predators @ Anaheim Ducks Game 1
That was worth staying up for, huh? What an effort from the Predators in a hostile environment.
While it took the Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks plenty of time to get underway as the last playoff series to begin among all of this year's matchups, it didn't take long for one team to take a 1-0 advantage in Game 1.
That team was the Predators courtesy of a James Neal goal just 35 seconds into the contest.
James Neal in 35 seconds. #Preds lead 1-0: pic.twitter.com/KQD0q3HnjB— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) April 16, 2016
After Nashville took a 1-0 lead in under one minute, Anaheim stormed back with an offensive push and knotted things up at one goal a piece thanks to a Ryan Getzlaf tally with 2:21 left in the opening frame.
Ryan Getzlaf ties things up late in the first at 1-1 #NSHvsANA: pic.twitter.com/xv3elfn8vr— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) April 16, 2016
Much like Nashville scored a quick goal in the first period, the Ducks returned the favor in the middle frame. Ryan Kesler scored just 48 seconds into the second period to push Anaheim ahead 2-1. Andrew Cogliano found Kesler streaking into the zone and Kesler showed off his wrister.
Ryan Kesler. 2-1 #NHLDucks over the #Preds: pic.twitter.com/OdkTSh9Del— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) April 16, 2016
Following the Kesler lighting of the lamp, the game fell to a back-and-forth pace before Colin Wilson scored for Nashville. The goal was Wilson's six in his last seven playoff games.
Ryan Ellis showed off his offensive ability as the hockey world has grown accustomed to by delivering a perfect pass to the streaking Wilson leading to the goal that knotted things up at 2-2.
Ryan Ellis to Colin Wilson. That’s a hell of a play. 2-2 game. #Preds #NSHvsANA: pic.twitter.com/OJLSfCwdXE— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) April 16, 2016
Following the Wilson mark at the 12:05 mark of the second period it was on the edge of your seat hockey from that point onward (as if it wasn't already).
Cody Bass took a penalty with 9:23 left in the second period that was...questionable. Questionable in the fact that perhaps Ryan Garbutt drew the penalty with a little bit of extra dramatics or questionable that Bass could've skated to the right of Garbutt and avoided the entire situation. Nevertheless, Nashville was able to kill off the minor penalty.
Yea, Cody, maybe skate to the right of him next time? Dive or not, what is possibly going through his head? pic.twitter.com/9z2lV4mpPZ— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) April 16, 2016
Then, less than four minutes later, Ellis made perhaps the biggest save of the night for the Predators as he fell into the goal post and his back-end stopped the go-ahead goal for the Ducks. Ellis recorded two blocked shots on the night. While stuck in the net, Ellis didn't want to be seen on the in-goal camera, or so it seemed.
Crazy, crazy sequence #Preds #NSHvsANA: pic.twitter.com/wXzgSXtThP— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) April 16, 2016
Things got chippy from that point onward, but the Predators prevailed in the final period. Filip Forsberg was looking for Craig Smith who was bolting towards the far post, but the young Swede got a lucky bounce off of an Anaheim skate for what stood to be the game winner with 9:35 left in regulation.
Filip Forsberg credited with the goal as he gives the #Preds a 3-2 lead in the 3rd: pic.twitter.com/VvCXNxjd5R— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) April 16, 2016
Nashville put together a complete contest to take a 1-0 series lead by a count of 3-2.
The Ducks may have out Corsi'd the Preds with a 66 Corsi For compared to a 62 Corsi For for Nashville, but the Preds had 23 scoring chances for compared to the Ducks' 15. Nashville also had 12 high-danger scoring chances while Anaheim managed only eight.
All stats via War On Ice.