Friday, April 17, Nashville 3 Anaheim 2
Nashville opened up the series on Friday, April 15 with a 3-2 win in the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
In the Predators opening series win, Pekka Rinne racked up 27 saves off of 29 assists. With a little over nine minutes in the game, Filip Forsberg’s attempted pass took a deflection and rebounded off of Anaheim’s Shae Theodore and into the net for the final goal of a 3-2 win.
The Preds got the series off to a resounding start less than a minute in. An attempt clear of the puck found its way to Ryan Johansen, who moved the puck and the play along to James Neal. Neal then smashed the game’s opening goal 35 seconds in, past Anaheim’s John Gibson.
Nashville went down 2-1 after Anaheim responded with a pair of goals from Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler. Colin Wilson tied the game at two in the 2nd period as he redirected the puck from Ryan Ellis into the net and for the Connecticut native’s first goal of the series.
Forsberg then found the game winner in the 3r period to gift Nashville the 1-0 lead in the series.
Sunday, April 15, Nashville 3 Anaheim 2
On Sunday night for game 2 in Anaheim at the Honda Center, Nashville made franchise history by going up in a series 2-0 for the first time. They did so by beating the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 for the second time in three days.
Defensively, for the second game in a row, Nashville’s Rinne had 27 saves off of 29 shots.
Despite Rinne’s .931 save percentage, Anaheim’s Andrew Cogliano opened up the scoring at 14:20 in the first period. Cogliano won the turnover then backhanded the puck by Rinne on a breakaway goal.
Nashville responded by firing out three unanswered goals. The first response from Nashville in game 2 came from a Mattias Ekholm goal, assisted by Colin Wilson. Elkhom went high on the goal frame to beat Gibson and open scoring.
Midway through the 2nd period Craig Smith smashed Nashville into the lead 2-1 with a long range goal. Forsberg assisted Smith on the goal.
Chris Weber bagged his first goal of the series with under one minute left in the second period. Roman Josi’s pass glided across the ice to Weber hit hit it around Gibson for a 3-1 lead.
Nate Thompson put Anaheim within one goal in the 3rd period, but the Ducks couldn’t rescue it, and dropped the first two games of the series at home.
Tuesday, April 19, Nashville 0 Anaheim 3
The Preds dropped the third game of the series to Anaheim 3-0 on April 19th, but still have high hopes of progressing in the series as they lead 2-1.
Frederik Anderson, of the Anaheim Ducks, made his 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs debut in net as he tallied 27 saves to shut out the Preds and give Anaheim their first win of the series. Anderson, 15-7 in postseason career, was given the start over John Gibson, who started the first two games of the series.
Anaheim opened their scoring 10 minutes into the 1st period of the game with a Jamie McGinn goal from the right circle. The goal was assisted by Shawn Horcoff as Anthony Bitetto set up the play.
Midway through the second period Anaheim doubled their lead off a Rickard Rakell goal. Rackell redirected a shot from Sami Vatanen to beat Pekka Rinne for the second time in the game, while Nashville lead the series 2-0 Anaheim lead the game 2-0.
The Ducks found their third goal late in the 2nd period as Chris Stewart finished off his original shot’s rebound to rally Anaheim to a 3-0 lead.
Nashville forced multiple offensive opportunities late in the game with 13 shots on goal in the final period, and 27 overall on the night.
The Predators took a heavy blow early in the game as forward Craig Smith left the game with a lower body injury.
The series returns to for game four in Nashville at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday night.
On Wednesday, April 20, Nashville announced Craig Smith’s injuries as day-to-day heading into the fourth game.