After dropping three straight to the Ducks, Nashville fought back in to win Game 6 ( 3-1) and force the first Game 7 in the franchise’s playoff history. The Preds now travel to Anaheim for Game 7 on Wednesday night at 9pm central.
In Game 6, a raucous Bridgestone Arena waited for most of the first period to celebrate a goal. After a scoreless first period, the Ducks would have the first great chances on goal, but Pekka Rinne would step up to keep the game knotted at 0.
At just over 8 minutes into the second period, Calle Jarnkrok would find Mattias Ekholm, who would net his second goal of the playoffs to give the Preds a 1-0 lead. Later in the period, Nashville would turn defense into offense, with Ryan Johansen and James Neal getting free on a 2-on-1 breakaway. Johansen would draw the defender and the Anaheim goalie to his side before finding Neal deep in the slot, where Neal would score to give the Predators a 2-0 lead. Late in the second, a controversial penalty would put the Ducks on a power play. Seconds later, Rinne would stop the initial shot, but the puck would dribble through and Anaheim would score to making it 2-1 after 2.
Through most of the third period, the Ducks applied more pressure in their end. Again, Pekka Rinne stepped up, stopping two great Anaheim chances from close range. The Predators would have one good shot, but Colin Wilson’s backhand shot on a bouncing puck would be stopped. Anaheim pulled their goalie with a minute left in the game to gain the extra attacker, but the Predator defense stepped up. With 10 seconds left, Shea Weber scored with an empty net from ¾ length of the ice to set the final tally at 3-1 and force Game 7.
The Predators and Ducks have both shown the ability to win on the other team’s home ice and have each successfully defended their home ice this series. The winner of Game 7 will move to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to face the San Jose Sharks, who eliminated the Los Angeles Kings 4-1.
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