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Ducks vs Predators Game 1 BEST/WORST: Bugger

Speed was a killer in the end.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Nashville Predators at Anaheim Ducks Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Best: Squad Goals

I think the best positive to take out of this game is that the team played better as a collective unit. Were it not for a few individual mistakes, the Ducks might have taken this one in regulation. It looks good for the rest of the series that the Ducks appear to have come to play - despite missing a few key players to injury.

Worst: Antoine Vermette

Single handily responsible for the Predators tying goal; he turned the puck over twice on that shift and then left Forsberg do what he wanted in front of the net and subsequently tip that goal in. He also had several chances to score throughout the game and flubbed on all of them. He hasn’t exactly been awesome this post season, but this was by far his worst game to the point of it costing the team.

Best: John Gibson

The main narrative going into this series was that Gibby was going to have to massively up his game to match the play of Rinne if the Ducks had any hope of going much further. Tonight he stepped up and then some. He was shaky at times in the first but was huge when needed on that 5 on 3 and for any Nashville chances that might have counted at the wrong time.

Worst: Missing In Action Major General Patrick Eaves

The Powerplay came close on 2 out of the 4 opportunities. One has to wonder that if Eaves was in the lineup - might the Ducks have finished on one of those man advantages? His loss means the Predators are able to target Getzlaf and Perry together at once while also possibly putting the spotlight on Vermette as he gets more ice time. Get well soon, soldier!

Best: Physical Play

I realize it doesn't tend to mean much in the regular season but you could see the momentum swings whenever a huge hit was made. Whether it be Getzlaf or Boll - it lead to chances for the Ducks. Of course the Predators utilized the same strategy and in the end it was their speed that over-matched the Ducks by causing the defense to back-up and give them room to make a play. But if the Ducks can come out playing the hitting, cycling and transition game to the best of their ability - they still have a chance to take this series.

Honorable Mention Best: Brandon Montour

Played a brilliant game again. Nothing that this kid cannot do.

Honorable Mention Worst: James Neal

Still a shit head. No explanation needed.

3 Stars

3) Ryan Getzlaf

2) Brandon Montour

1) John Gibson