Sport Helene Elliott: Ducks remain unruffled as they end Predators' home win streak

17:37  19 may  2017
17:37  19 may  2017 Source:

Preds' Johansen: Ducks not that different from team we beat last year

  Preds' Johansen: Ducks not that different from team we beat last year If the Western Conference Final between the Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators is anything like last year's first-round matchup, Ryan Johansen likes his team's chances. The Predators bested the Ducks in seven games last season and as Johansen sees it, the Ducks have not upgraded their roster much over last year.

May 12, 2013| Helene Elliott . A great beginning turned into a sorry end for the Ducks , who burned up the NHL in the early weeks of this lockout-shortened season but were too burned out Sunday to put That club-record 13-game home winning streak they rode for nearly two months was forgotten too.

Helene Elliott 's NHL rankings. Kings remain in first place, while the Ducks go from No. 21 to No. 15. 15. Ducks ; 10-7-2; Six-game winning streak ends with overtime loss in Chicago. Defense still suspect but offense looks better.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The improbable has become routine for the Ducks, who have yet to find a playoff hurdle they can't overcome — even when they sometimes put that hurdle in their own path.

The course of the Western Conference finals appeared to change Thursday when the Nashville Predators scored twice in the third period — the last time with 36 seconds left in regulation — to erase the Ducks' lead and restore the roar of a sold-out crowd that hadn't seen the home team lose a playoff game at Bridgestone Arena in six tries this spring and 10 in a row dating back to last season.

Carrie Underwood tries to shame Ducks fans on Twitter

  Carrie Underwood tries to shame Ducks fans on Twitter Carrie Underwood took on Ducks fans on Twitter.Obviously, that is not a news flash at all to 99-percent of Southern Californians and even a great majority of people in other states. But it might be to singer Carrie Underwood.

By Helene Elliott . They 're 6-0 at home in these playoffs and have won 10 straight home playoff games dating to last season. Despite those disappointments, the Predators remained focused and continued to swarm over the fading Ducks before they finally capitalized on that late power play.

Anaheim Ducks vs. Nashville Predators (Preds lead 3-2). Time: 8:00 p.m. ET. Factoid of the Night. Matt Murray‘s shutout streak ended with less than a minute remaining in the first period, and Again, the Wild shouldn’t just roll over here. After all, they went 27-6-8 at home during the regular season.

A victory would have given the Predators a commanding lead in the series, putting them one win away from a berth in the Stanley Cup Final. Their fans could taste it, feel it, rocking the building with their collective hopes and leather lungs. But on the bench and in their locker room before overtime the Ducks remained unruffled, completely confident. They'd been down this road before, and they weren't intimidated.

"They've been getting a lot of attention for how they've been playing and they've been playing good. And they're a good team, a strong team," Ducks left wing Andrew Cogliano said of the Predators. "I think we're here for a reason as well. I think tonight we pushed back a little bit, and now it's best out of three."

It became that when Corey Perry intercepted a clearing attempt by Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban and put the puck toward the net, hoping for a deflection or redirection. He got it, and the Ducks got a series-tying 3-2 triumph, when the puck glanced off Subban and past goaltender Pekka Rinne 10 minutes 25 seconds into sudden-death play. It was the third overtime goal among four goals this spring for Perry, who struggled to score all season but, like his teammates, is rising to the occasion when it means the most.

Back home, Predators eager to match Ducks' physical play

  Back home, Predators eager to match Ducks' physical play The Nashville Predators finally are facing their first real adversity this postseason, with the Anaheim Ducks eager to push, hit and poke them out of what's already been a historic run. The Predators insist they can play that game too - and keep their cool no matter what pesky Ducks center Ryan Kesler does.Nashville center Ryan Johansen vented his frustration at how Kesler plays after the Ducks rallied twice in pulling out a 5-3 win Sunday night that tied the Western Conference finals at a game apiece. Johansen said he didn't know how anyone could cheer for a guy like that constantly prodding and poking.

By Helene Elliott . May 20, 2017 | 9:30 PM. The Predators were the resilient group Saturday, scoring late in the second period and twice in the third to leave the Honda Center with a 3-1 victory and head home with a chance to clinch a berth in the Cup finals if they win Monday at Bridgestone Arena.

Home & Garden. Books. He could laugh about it later because the Ducks bent but didn't break under the force of the Predators ' frantic push. That's how we won hockey games all year, is defense,” Thompson said. “I think you could see the commitment through all the guys tonight. helene . elliott

"He's a clutch performer and has done it year in and year out," forward Nate Thompson said.

Defenseman Hampus Lindholm offered a far better explanation for the unlikely comeback win. "That's Ducks hockey for you right there," he said cheerfully.

For the past few years, "Ducks hockey" meant something much less complimentary entirely during the playoffs. But they're not underachievers anymore. "I think the last three or four years we've obviously gone through a lot, more downs in the playoffs than ups," goaltender John Gibson said. "But I think we just learn from that and I think now that we have a sense of calmness and we have the ability to always regroup, whether we're up or down ... . I think we all just have the belief in the locker room and we trust one another that we can come back or have success in any situation."

And so a postseason journey that has been totally lacking in momentum or logic for the Ducks lurched back to home to Anaheim, for Game 5 on Saturday. "We're just trying to sell the game and make sure everyone's entertained," said defenseman Kevin Bieksa, who was added to the lineup by coach Randy Carlyle to reduce the Predators' boldness around the net.

Predators lose injured C Ryan Johansen for rest of playoffs

  Predators lose injured C Ryan Johansen for rest of playoffs Nashville center Ryan Johansen will miss the rest of the Stanley Cup playoffs after emergency surgery on a left thigh injury, leaving the Predators without their top scorer heading into Game 5 of the Western Conference finals. The Predators announced the injury Friday after the club traveled to Anaheim to face the Ducks on Saturday night.

The Ducks are going home with sharp regrets. "There's a lot of fight in this room and this one's going to sting for a while," Perry said. "Well, I think that if you look at it, we scored three goals. We should win the hockey game. Or to write a more successful ending . helene . elliott

Helene elliott / on the NHL. Typically unruffled , he regrouped to stop Benn from point-blank range not long afterward. That left Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau with the kind of decision that can get coaches fired or win them contract extensions.

Bieksa was successful in that mission, though he took the third of four straight penalties called against the Ducks in that frantic third period. They killed off a five-on-three Nashville advantage that lasted 91 seconds, only to get burned after the Predators pulled Rinne in favor of an extra skater and were rewarded when Filip Forsberg's second-effort shot got past Gibson at 19:24.

Even then, the Ducks didn't panic. Especially then, despite knowing one missed assignment or fickle bounce could have given Nashville a commanding lead in the series.

"We've had to do it all playoffs. We've had situations in the playoffs where we've had to deal with that," said Thompson, who was in front of the net to screen Rinne and was initially credited with the winner before it was confirmed that Perry's shot had gone off Subban.

"We have a good core of leadership in here," Thompson said. "Even our younger guys have been through it, too, and we know how to handle ourselves and we did a good job of it and came out and took care of business."

Their business has become winning, and although Carlyle credited their success to the resilience of his players, he has played a huge role, too. Realizing that players were too tired to summon and sustain the emotions and energy required to win Game 3 on Tuesday, he gave them a day off on Wednesday. They played pool and refreshed their bodies and their minds, and they were physically and mentally strong when they needed to be on Thursday.

Ducks captain Getzlaf fined for apparent homophobic slur

  Ducks captain Getzlaf fined for apparent homophobic slur Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf has been fined for apparently using a homophobic slur during Game 4 of the Western Conference finals. The NHL announced the fine several hours before Game 5 against the Nashville Predators. Getzlaf, the Ducks' leading scorer in the postseason, avoided a suspension. Getzlaf was captured by television cameras appearing to shout the inappropriate remark in frustration with an official after returning to Anaheim's bench during overtime.

Yup, they did it again. The Ducks had a chance Monday to end a playoff series in six games, to After losing the first two games at home and then winning the next three, the Ducks didn't play a gritty enough game to finish off an opponent. helene . elliott Twitter: @helenenothelen.

" Carlyle's last game was a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday, which ended the Ducks ' losing streak at seven games. Ducks get 4-3 overtime win , and Coach Randy Carlyle gets some support. March 12, 2009 | HELENE ELLIOTT .

"I think all the guys in this room knew we needed to win that game," Cogliano said. "It's a good feeling when you know your guys bring their 'A' game when they need it."

That's Ducks hockey now, rising to the occasion, unlikely though it might be.

Related slideshow: Stanley Cup playoffs (Provided by photo services)

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