What Happened Last Night: Nashville Predators @ Anaheim Ducks Game 6
The Predators did something they've never done before on Monday night; force a Game 7. You thought you were nervous watching Game 6?
Game six was a battle, as expected, but the Predators edged the Ducks by a count of 3-1. How close was this game you ask? Well, at even strength the Preds and Ducks each had 24 shots on net and seven high-danger scoring chances a piece.
When it comes to the Corsi department, Anaheim edged Nashville with a Corsi For of 56 compared to the Preds' 45 in 5-on-5 situations.
The Predators started the contest in about the worst way possible as Viktor Arvidsson was called for goalie interference just 34 seconds in, but nothing came of it for the Ducks. The Ducks then committed their lone penalty of the night as they were called for too many men with 16:51 left in the opening frame.
The first memorable moment of the first period came when Cody Bass attempted to land a big hit on Sami Vatanen but missed and went crashing full force into the boards. He immediately went down the tunnel and missed the rest of the game with a lower-body injury.
That can't feel good.Cody Bass goes into the boards attempting to land a big hit. Down the tunnel afterwards #Preds: pic.twitter.com/1tjrIOI0OH— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) April 26, 2016
Just before the end of the first period, Roman Josi held the puck behind the Nashville net to start a rush. Corey Perry camped in front of Pekka Rinne, but James Neal decided it would be better if he did so without his stick.
"Yeah, um, Corey your stick is in my way" - James Neal #Preds #NHLDucks: pic.twitter.com/s2m31TUFHC— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) April 26, 2016
After a scoreless first, the Predators finally opened up the scoring with 11:50 left in the middle frame. Mattias Ekholm received a drop pass from Calle Jarnkrok, skated around the Ducks' goal all the way to the top of the face off circle and let a wrist shot fire. It found the back of the net and the Preds grabbed hold of the momentum. Ryan Ellis was handed the secondary assist on the goal.
Mattias Ekholm with his second of the postseason. #Preds lead the #NHLDucks 1-0: pic.twitter.com/JJHsZEXZiZ— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) April 26, 2016
Nashville added to their lead with 2:15 left in the period on a beautiful play between Ryan Johansen and Neal. Johansen caught up with a wide shot by the Ducks creating a 2-on-1 chance with Neal. Johansen delivered a pass on the money to Neal and the sniper lit the lamp. This is a scoring play that should not be a surprise to anyone with the two players involved.
Making it look easy. Ryan Johansen to James Neal. #Preds lead the #NHLDucks 2-0: pic.twitter.com/SPGmfHuZUR— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) April 26, 2016
The Ducks didn't bow down after what seemed to be somewhat of a dagger. Ekholm was called for holding with 43 seconds left in the second and just 29 seconds into the man advantage the Ducks cut the lead in half.
Cam Fowler sent a blast on net that seemed to have been stopped and covered by Rinne, but after Perry bumped the puck to keep the play alive, Ryan Kesler dove to poke it home past a scrambling Rinne.
Ryan Kesler with the PPG. Cuts the #Preds lead to 2-1: pic.twitter.com/PFlKkIsHye— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) April 26, 2016
The third period was a constant mirage of back-and-forth action. The Ducks out shot the Preds 9-6 and managed 13 scoring chances compared to just five from the Preds, but Rinne and the Preds stood strong.
Rinne made a big save on Perry late in the final frame as did Frederik Andersen on Colin Wilson:
Pekka Rinne with a hug save on Corey Perry. #Preds on top of the #NHLDucks 2-1: pic.twitter.com/KQVcvfZicN— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) April 26, 2016
Colin Wilson stopped on the doorstep #Preds #NHLDucks: pic.twitter.com/I2KaFi23LJ— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) April 26, 2016
Shea Weber buried one in the empty net with 10 seconds left in the third to punch the Preds' ticket into their first ever game seven set for Wednesday. Neal was credited with the helper on the goal.
Credit needs to be given to Rinne for his efforts on the night. The big Finn stopped 26 of the 27 shots he faced in total including all eight of the medium-danger shots he faced. Rinne stopped four of the five high-danger shots that came his way as well.
Game 7, the Preds are comin' in hot:
Sign in Preds locker room says, "Noon flight to Anaheim. Pack for 6 days."— Jim Diamond (@diamondhockey) April 26, 2016