Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Nashville Predators defeated the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 tonight.
Here is the game winner by James Neal.
Game 6- Anaheim at Nashville 8:00 PM ET | CNBC, TVAS, SN, FS-TN, FS-W
Game 7- Chicago at St Louis 8:30 PM ET | NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, FS-MW, CSN-CH
If Nashville wins, game 7 will be Wednesday in Anaheim.
The comment section is your place to discuss the games tonight.
"This is our Game 7 right now, we’re taking this as a Game 7. We have to put our best foot forward tonight because we’re going to get their best."
-Ryan Kesler of the Anaheim Ducks on game 6 tonight in Nashvlille. Pierre LeBrun of ESPN has more on the gtame.
from Curtis Zupke of the LA Times,
Past is not prologue, as far as the Ducks are concerned, even if the ink on the recent pages of their history is somewhat fresh.
They have been in this position each of the past two seasons, having a 3-2 series lead, and both have ended in anguish. The Ducks lost the final two games to the Chicago Blackhawks in last year's Western Conference final and against the Kings in the 2014 semifinal.
Players expectedly closed the book on all that heading into Monday's Game 6 with a 3-2 first-round series lead on the Nashville Predators.
"I look at that as last year," Hampus Lindholm said. "That's history for me. This is a new year, a new group. It doesn't really bother me what happened that year … all that stuff that happened before. I don't think anyone has that on their mind right now."
Said Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau about the past: "I'm not bringing it up."
Questions about learning from the past has practically become a rite of spring for Boudreau. He said Sunday that it's helped his approach in trying to find the right formula and cited "experience is the best teacher."
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Anaheim Ducks in the playoffs have presented a microcosm of their season, digging a huge hole out of the gates before finding the resolve to climb out of it.
And in both cases, just when the outside world began to wonder about this team, the players inside never lost doubt.
"Just like our season," observed center Ryan Kesler after a third straight victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday afternoon, this one by a 5-2 count. "We started off terrible and then got good. It's a race to four and we still have to win another game. But I don't think there's a single guy in this room that didn't think we'd be in this position."
That is what is different about this version of the Ducks. They didn't get to lollygag in first place from start to finish this season as is normally their way -- they had to go into survival mode after a brutal opening half and rather incredibly win the Pacific Division by the end of it.
from Adam Vingan of The Tennessean,
Late in the second period of the Predators' 5-2 loss to the Ducks in Game 5 on Saturday, Anaheim forward Ryan Garbutt forechecked hard, winning a battle along the end boards and stuffing the puck past Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne.
Conversation on social media turned toward whether Garbutt's goal should have counted, with certain replays leading some to believe the puck slipped under the net and behind Rinne, getting by him illegally.
"It's hard to see at that point," Rinne said. "You're just trying to play the puck at a bad angle. It's pretty much behind the net. He just banks it off me. It was a terrible goal to give up in a big game like that. It was a 1-1 game at the moment. Wish I could take it back."
Regardless, Rinne has allowed at least four goals in each of the past two games and has a .889 save percentage through five playoff games, doing little to dispel thoughts that he is no longer one of the NHL's best goaltenders.
View the game highlights below...
from Adam Vingan of The Tennessean,
Consider it an opportunity squandered.
The Predators had a two-game series advantage against the Ducks, the first in team history, and two home games to take a commanding lead in their first-round matchup or even win it.
A 4-1 loss in Game 4 on Thursday, however, has placed momentum firmly on the side of the Ducks, who reclaimed home-ice advantage in what has become a best-of-three series, starting with Game 5 on Saturday in Anaheim.
"Got to get the next one," Predators captain Shea Weber said. "Nothing we can do about the past two. We hadn't won anything after the first two, so it's a seven-game series for a reason. You've got to win four games, and the first team to do so wins."
Watch the game highlights below...
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
No griping or whining at the officials. No retaliatory or antagonistic pokes or chops at their combatants. No baffling breakdowns in their own zone.
It was just about playing hockey for the Ducks and they turned in a masterful Game 3 on Tuesday night, fulfilling their intent to make it a tight and tough playoff series with the Nashville Predators.
Jamie McGinn, Rickard Rakell and Chris Stewart scored goals and Frederik Andersen stopped 27 shots for his second career playoff shutout in the Ducks’ convincing 3-0 victory at Bridgestone Arena.
Nashville still holds a 2-1 lead in the series, but the Ducks have an opportunity to tie it in a pivotal Game 4 on Thursday night.
“This is a resilient group and we never doubted our ability,” Stewart said. “We didn’t make it easy on us. At the end of the day, it’s a race to four. It’s 2-1 now and we got one more to play before we go home.”
Game highlights are below...
Not in the best mood today but pretty honest.
from Jeff Miller of the OC Register,
It’s called home ice, not home nice, a fact that never has been clearer than it is today.
On Sunday, the Ducks were left to defend the frozen turf of suddenly hospitable Southern California in a postseason that has begun, locally at least, as a sobering thaw.
Instead, they just melted down by being “stupid” – Coach Bruce Boudreau’s assessment – and lost Game 2 of their first-round series against Nashville, 3-2.
After spending the final stretch of the regular season taffy pulling for the top of the Pacific Division, the Ducks and Kings ended up Nos. 1 and 2 but both still earned the purported advantage of starting the playoffs at home.
At this stage, identifying that advantage requires equal amounts of wild creativity and blind denial.
With this defeat, the Ducks dropped both their home games, just like the Kings did to San Jose, each team quickly turning an opening series into something that feels more like a closing ceremony.
Now, the Ducks are faced with the reality of having to win 4 of 5 against an opponent that so far has worked harder and smarter and executed more frequently.
Watch the game highlights below...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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