The Ducks have a knack for loving elimination games. Well, maybe when it comes to watching them from the locker room. After a great first shift by the Ducks, Nashville scored a goal on their first shot of the game. Austin Watson threw the puck into the crease from the boards, and it happened to bounce of Montour’s skate and in. The goal came only 1:21 into the period. Just another Anaheim playoff start.
Things did not get much better as the period went on. Seven minuets after the opening goal, Colton Sissons capitalized on a turnover to extend Nashville’s lead to 2-0. Ritchie fumbled Cam Fowler’s outlet pass and the Predators were able to enter the zone with ease. With both Anaheim defenders still out of position, Nashville was able to skate into the slot unattested and beat Bernier to the stick side.
Bonehead Nick Ritchie forgot that he was playing with the twins for offense and decided to pick up a major penalty. He took a run at Viktor Arvidsson and was thrown out of the game. Rightfully so.
Overall the Ducks did not play that bad of a period. Anaheim was able to kill off the entire Nick Ritchie penalty to keep them in the game. They were able to completely shut down Nashville’s power play by not giving up a single shot against. WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL POSTSEASON?
Anaheim controlled a 12-4 lead in shots.
The Ducks finally got on the board at 4:45 into the period. Ondrej Kase banged home a Getzlaf pass to cut the Nashville lead in half. Vatanen was able to pick up the second assist by shooting a puck from the point. Corey Perry’s net front presence was instrumental in creating havoc in front of Pekka Rinne. 2-1 Nashville.
Unfortunately, the Ducks were not able to capitalize on two power play chances. Thus continues the trend of being rather bad with the man advantage. It does not help missing two power play wingers, but it is nice to see Kase rewarded with some time. His creativity is a breathe of fresh air on the second unit. Too bad Vermette is somehow considered a scoring threat in this world.
Anaheim managed to continue their dominance in this game. Shots in the period were 13-4 for a total of 25-8 in their favor.
Nashville scored their third goal of the game at 3:00 into the period. The goal came on only their ninth shot. 3-1 Nashville. Somehow, Ducks fans everywhere knew that the game was not over just yet.
Oh, but there was still some hope. Chris Wagner banked a shot off of Rinne’s head and in. Nic Kerdiles made a fantastic play from behind the net and was able to find Wagner open in the slot. His assist was the first playoff point of his career. Hopefully there are more of those to come.
Corey Perry says hello. Everyone’s favorite winger got locked up with Rinne, which led to an adventure in the crease. All the while Fowler let off a clap bomb from the point. Tie game! I feel horrible putting that exclamation point there already knowing how the game ended.
So about that terrible Ducks power play. Kesler continued his inept second half offense by turning the puck over in the offensive zone. After a defensive breakdown, Colton Sissons was left wide open for a one-timer goal. The team needed Bernier to be average, but unfortunately that did not pan out. He allowed four goals on the first sixteen shots he saw.
The Ducks had six minutes to tie the game or else the season was over. Too bad we all know how this ends.
Before Anaheim could even attempt a shot with Bernier pulled, Filip Forsberg scored the empty net clincher. For good measure Austin Watson added a second.
As I finish my final recap of the season all I have left to say is one thing: Please fire Kevin Bieksa into the sun.