Pressure turned up in Western Conference Final

Hurricanes, Stars get early jump on NHL goalie carousel

Pressure turned up in Western Conference Final

The Preds jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period completely taking the Anaheim crowd out of the game until a late first period penalty from Matt Irwin who got turned around, lost his man and took the penalty to stop a scoring chance. "They grabbed some momentum at the end of the first period and then came out and scored another quick goal".

"The second (period), they got to control the tempo of the game and had the puck a little bit more, and obviously that plays into their hands", Rinne said. Johansen, between Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg, has been almost unstoppable this postseason-they've got 30 points among them, with Johansen pacing the team in assists with 10. Filip Forsberg tied the game with a deflection goal at 12:34 of the first, as Nashville heavily controlled the opening period.

Silfverberg has scored in two straight games and leads the team with nine goals while Ritchie has two goals in his last three games.

There was nothing between Ritchie and Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne. Ritchie scored in an 5-4 overtime win against the Flames in the first round and then had the victor in Game 7 against the Oilers.

And there was a scramble in front of John Gibson that required levees, bomb shelters, and blocked shots by Ryan Kesler and Josh Manson.

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Game three of this series is scheduled for Tuesday in Nashville. As a comparison, the Predators have taken 33 in one fewer game. If you hit it the right spot, it's on most goalies these days because they're all going down.

"I mean he just blows my mind", Johansen, who took a high-sticking penalty on Kesler, said of the extra treatment he's received from the Anaheim centre. "I think we've done a pretty good job of staying disciplined so far".

The Ducks are not a team that likes to waste time on the power play.

"I think he's been our best player in the first two games, especially in the first period [in Game 2]", Forsberg said of Johansen, whose 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in the playoffs are tied with Joel Ward (2011) and Colin Wilson (2016) for most in a single postseason in Predators history. It just doesn't make sense how he plays the game.

If you're an Anaheim fan, you might be a little pissed off, not just because they lost, but because, in the fine tradition of playoff officiating, Neal shouldn't have even been playing at that point because of this pretty blatant and unsafe charge that went uncalled. He's eager to remind everyone that he's only one component of a defensive group that has driven the Predators to these unprecedented postseason heights.

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With a win in overtime in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final, the Predators secured their road split against the Ducks.

"We knew they were going to come hard", Gibson said. "It's a tough break, tough play. for sure, I want to have that back".

"We understand, they wait", Malkin said.

Nashville has a serious challenge now, and adversity has arrived in the form of Ryan Kesler, the Ducks' defense-minded center. It also ended an 0-for-20 drought on power plays in the last seven games for Anaheim. We weren't our best, but we lost in overtime.

It appeared it would be enough to put Pittsburgh away in regulation until Malkin redirected a Chris Kunitz shot between Anderson's legs with 5:35 left in the third.

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United can not finish below sixth this season, no matter what happens in their remaining three fixtures. We had a fantastic record of 25 matches.

X-factor: Ryan Ellis. Nashville always has a defenseman who goes from sleeper to an on-the-radar threat.

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