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Game 1 Observations

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously, the Ducks didn't play very well and they deserved the loss. Here's a few observations:

1. Forsberg's Hit on Manson

Here's Eric's take on it:

No word yet from the NHL on whether or not Filip Forsberg will be suspended. More importantly, no word yet on the status of Josh Manson either. He's grown into one the Ducks' most valuable defensemen, and if he sustained a concussion, the blue line is going to look a hell of a lot weaker regardless of how Bruce Boudreau rearranges it.

2. Rough Game for Despres and Fowler

Simon Despres played his worst game in a long time, and only a superstar performance from his partner Cam Fowler would have been able to keep that pairing afloat. Needless to say, Fowler did not provide that on Friday. The good news? These are two good defensemen, and it's almost impossible to imagine they won't be better on Sunday.

3. Plucky Perron, Rusty Rakell

Fox Sports' Guy Hebert said David Perron was the Ducks' best player in Game 1. While I'm not sure I'd put him above Hampus Lindholm, I certainly agree that the winger looked good in his return from a somewhat long-term injury. I cannot say the same for fellow injury-returner Rickard Rakell, who wasn't making the same kind of plays we've become accustomed to seeing him make. The Swede will eventually find his form, but whether or not that happens before the Predators win three more games remains to be seen.

4. Goaltending Controversy?

Remember in the 2014 Kings series when Jonas Hiller played well but lost the first two games? Bruce Boudreau elected to pull the veteran netminder. First Frederik Andersen and then John Gibson took over, and the rest, as they say, is history. Coincidentally, it is Gibson who now sits in Hiller's position. He played well enough to get the win, but his team didn't. Naturally, everyone has an opinion about who should start Game 2.

If I'm Boudreau, I'm sticking with Gibby. But I admit that it's basically a coin flip.

5. Optimism

The Ducks played a pretty awful game, and they only lost by one.

6. A Likely Meaningless Piece of History

Eleven times now the Ducks have dropped the first game of a playoff series. Their record in those ten series is 2-8, with the only wins coming against the Calgary Flames in 2006 and the Detroit Red Wings in 2007.