By Amanda DiPaolo
The Ducks top line of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan accounted for four of Anaheim’s five goals Friday night and Ray Emery made 31 saves as the Ducks evened the playoff series at a game apiece.
Nashville went down 2-0 before the seven minute mark of the first period as Anaheim scored two goals in less than forty seconds apart. Perry got on the board first with a 5-on-3 goal. Shane O’Brien and Martin Erat were serving penalties for Nashville.
Just after Anaheim took a timeout to plan for the 5-on-3 man advantage, Perry one-timed the puck past Pekka Rinne from a cross-crease pass from Saku Koivu. Seven seconds were left on the first minor so the Predators still had almost a minute of power play time to kill off. Teemu Selanne had other plans, however, scoring his second goal of the series to give the Ducks the two-goal lead heading into the second period.
The Predators thought they had pulled within one with a Weber shot beat Ray Emery, but the goal was immediately called off and David Legwand was sent to the box for goaltender interference. Emery had been tripped as the puck went by the netminder.
Nashville did cut the lead in half when Weber did score 4:29 into the second period. Weber’s wrist shot went over Emery’s shoulder from the left circle in front of the net. It was Weber’s second of the series and seventh in the playoffs.
Just under three minutes later, the Ducks regained the two goal lead. With the Predators caught on a bad line change, Beauchemin sent a stretch pass to Getzlaf who found Ryan in behind the Predators defense at 7:12 of the middle frame. Ryan beat Rinne for the 3-1 lead in the game.
With five minutes left in the second period, the Ducks extended their lead to 4-1. Getzlaf added the goal right after an interference call on Blake Geoffrion expired.
The Predators made a game of it coming back to score two goals in the third period to train only by one goal before Ryan’s empty net goal.
Patric Hornqvist and Joel Ward were the other goal scorers for the Predators in the third period.
It was a tough game on the Predators physically. Martin Erat lost four teeth when Sheldon Brookbank accidentally knocked him in the mouth with the butt end of his stick. It didn’t appear Erat missed one single shift.
Predators rookie Jon Blum had his foot stomped on by Ryan. They were fighting over the puck from behind the net with under four minutes to play. No penalty was called on the play and the Predators were unable to find the equalizer with Ryan adding the empty-net goal.
The series now turns into Nashville when all is said and done. Some tickets remain for Sunday’s game, get them now before the seats out.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
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