Forsberg winner lifts Predators over Ducks

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 16, 2016 1:57 AM

(The Sports Xchange) - Filip Forsberg scored with 9 minutes, 35 seconds to play to give the Nashville Predators a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in the first game of the Stanley Cup Western Conference quarterfinals Friday night in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 17,236 at the Honda Center.

James Neal and Craig Wilson also scored while goalie Pekka Rinne stopped 27 shots for the Predators.

Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler scored the Ducks' goals, and goalie John Gibson made 30 saves.

Game 2 will take place Sunday night at the Honda Center.

Forsberg broke a 2-2 tie at 10:25 of the third period. After poke-checking the puck away from one of the Ducks in the Predators' end, Forsberg skated unmolested down the left wing and passed the puck toward Craig Smith, stationed behind Anaheim defenseman Shea Theodore.

But Forsberg's pass hit Theodore's skate and slowly skidded just beyond Gibson's left skate and glove inside the right post.

Kesler gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead 48 seconds into the second period. Andrew Cogliano passed from the right boards to an onrushing Kesler, who dragged a wrist shot from the rear edge of the left circle that deflected off the underside of the crossbar.

But Wilson re-tied the score more than seven minutes later. Ryan Ellis skated along the right wing from the Predators' end and sent a pass from the right circle to Wilson, who deflected the puck under Gibson's glove and inside the right post at 7:55.

Neal scored 35 seconds into the game, and five seconds after another scoring chance went awry.

Calle Jarnkrok and Shea Weber had a 2-on-0 breakaway but after Weber received Jarnkrok's pass, Gibson dived to block the shot at the right post. Jarnkrok recovered the puck behind the net and passed it toward the left corner.

As Nashville's Ryan Johansen and Anaheim's Simon Despres pursued the puck, Johansen poked it with his stick to Neal, whose wrist shot ricocheted off Gibson's glove and inside the right post.

Getzlaf tied the score during a 5-on-3 power play. The Predators' Anthony Bitetto went to the penalty box for holding an opponent's stick at 16:15 of the first period. Weber joined him 35 seconds later for cross-checking.

The Ducks' Cam Fowler dragged a wrist shot from the slot that Rinne blocked with his right leg pad. But Getzlaf deposited the rebound inside the right post for his 28th career playoff goal.