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Ducks Push Predators to Brink with Game 5 Win

Tha Sports Junkies 101-Sports News Dinur/via flickr.com

Anaheim Offense Explodes for Five Goals to take 3-2 Series Lead

NHL

ANAHEIM, CA-After so much expectation coming into the season, the Anaheim Ducks struggled in the first half of the season before turning things around to win a fourth straight Pacific Division title. Their first round series didn’t start off well after falling into an 0-2 hole. However, now they are just one win away from moving on to the second round.

The Ducks got goals from five different players on their way to a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators Saturday afternoon at the Honda Center to take a 3-2 series lead.

Despite losing games 3 and 4 at home, the Predators came out with plenty of energy and took the game to the Ducks in the first period. Nashville outshot Anaheim 13-12 in the opening frame, and had the better of the scoring chances. Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen, though, was stellar in keeping the Predators off the board.

Nashville continued to push the play in the second and eventually were able to grab a 1-0 lead with 5:47 left in the middle period when Ryan Johansen backhanded a shot top shelf past Andersen to put the Predators ahead.

Anaheim, however, didn’t take long to respond as David Perron‘s slap shot from the point deflected off of Nashville defenseman Roman Josi‘s foot and up and over goalie Pekka Rinne to get his first goal of the playoffs tie the game for the Ducks just 22 seconds later.

1:38 later, Anaheim would grab a 2-1 lead when Ryan Garbutt stuffed a shot past Rinne on the near post to get his first of the postseason and send the Ducks to the intermission with the one-goal advantage.

The home team would then extend their lead to two goals when defenseman Sami Vatanen was sprung on a breakaway and buried a wrist shot past Rinne to give Anaheim a 3-1 lead 8:34 into the final period.

The Predators would make it a close game with 6:31 remaining in the game when rookie Miikka Salomaki netted his first career playoff goal to get Nashville within 3-2.

However, that as close as the visitors would get as Ducks blue liner Cam Fowler gave the home team some breathing room when he scored on the power-play with 3:23 left to get his first of the postseason and put Anaheim up 4-2.

Ryan Kesler would then ice the game away for the Ducks with an empty-net goal with 1:46 remaining with his second of the series to seal Anaheim’s 5-2 win.

Game 5 marked the first time in the series that the home team has won a game. Each team had lost two games on home ice prior to today.

The Ducks now lead the best-of-7 series 3-2 and have a chance to wrap it up on Monday night in Game 6 in Nashville (8 PM ET, CNBC).

Three Stars of the Game:

1st Star: Ryan Garbutt, ANA

2nd Star: David Perron, ANA

3rd Star: Frederik Andersen, ANA

TSJ Sports Radio presents Outside Tha Locker Room. Hottest Takes in the game
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