Predators Eliminate Ducks, Reach First Stanley Cup Final In Team History
- Author: Rosalie Stanley May 23, 2017,
May 23, 2017, 14:45
The Predators nearly let Game 6 get away from them after blowing a 3-1 lead, but just as he had twice before, it was Sissons who scored once more time to save the day before a pair of empty-netters put the game away.
In this game they had 41 shots on goal to Nashville's 18 and finally found a way to subvert Rinne, who was brilliant when Nashville ousted the Ducks past year, and again in this first period. The last team to beat the Ducks in a Game 5 at Honda Center also was Nashville.
Ryan Kesler had no goals and one point in the series, although he had numerous looks in Game 6. Nashville tacked on another empty-net goal to make it 6-3 with 1:34 remaining. Meanwhile, Ducks number one goalie John Gibson was hurt in the first period during a collision at the net; he did not return for the second. Nashville will now advance to their first-ever Stanley Cup Final against the victor of the Ottawa-Pittsburgh series. They've shown they're up for the challenge, as they hopped out to a 3-2 series lead so far with the chance to wrap things up at home in Nashville. They advance to their first ever Stanley Cup Final.
Anaheim was knocked out of the playoffs a year ago by Nashville, and the Ducks are facing their second elimination game of the postseason after winning Game 7 against Edmonton in the second round. They erased two-goal deficits twice and were even at 3-3 and on the power play with a little more than eight minutes to play.
The Predators survived Game 6 while opting for a defense-heavy game plan, and based on their defensive performance throughout the postseason, the trend could continue. He is 1-1 with a.905 save percentage and 2.90 goals against average this postseason. They lost their top centre, Ryan Johansen, after Game 4 because of emergency surgery on his left thigh, and captain Mike Fisher has missed two games with an upper-body injury.
Aberg had to send himself flying across the crease to swat home a rebound of Filip Forsberg's shot for the Predators, epitomizing Nashville's persistent effort through a defensive victory. Game 1 is Monday. "We've got to do a better job maintaining what we want to do with our game plan, because they played hard tonight".
Anaheim had a chance to complete the comeback when Nashville took a delay of game penalty.
"We just believed in ourselves, " Sissons said as he celebrated with his teammates. Jhonas Enroth dressed as Bernier's backup.
"It's a dream come true", said Rinne, who stopped 38 of 41 shots.
Their veteran goalie and a young forward who was a healthy scratch from some key late-season games pushed them over the Western Conference finish line.
But Nashville's quickness and opportunism flared up again when Sissons captured a puck, gave it up, watched Calle Jarnkrok get to it an instant before Corey Perry could, and went to the left side of the net. Unfortunately, Nashville has yet to yield more than two goals in their building in these playoffs.