ANAHEIM, Calif. (WKRN) – The Anaheim Ducks overcome a 2-0 deficit to beat the Nashville Predators 5-3 in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final Sunday in Anaheim.
Nickie Ritchie scored the game winner for Anaheim with less than three minutes left in the second period to give the Ducks a 4-3 lead and their third goal of the second period.
It was all Nashville in the first period with the Predators jumping on top 1-0 only four minutes in when Ryan Johansen scored his third goal of the playoffs on a breakaway.
Four minutes later James Neal scored maybe the easiest goal of his career on the power play to make it 2-0 Nashville in the first. Viktor Arvidsson completely screened Anaheim goalie John Gibson who lost track of the puck. Neal skated up and tapped it in from point blank range for his fifth goal of the post season.
The Ducks got one back late in the first when Sammy Vatanen beat Pekka Rinne on the power play to make it 2-1.
In the second period, it got a little crazy, and he Ducks tied it up at 2-2 only 39 seconds in when red hot Jakob Silfverberg scored his ninth goal of the playoffs.
Seven minutes later Arvidsson went hard at Gibson and put a wraparound shot off the post, but Filip Forsberg slammed in the rebound to give Nashville back the lead at 4-3. For Forsberg it was his fifth playoff goal.
The Ducks tied it back up two minutes later on a goal by Ondrej Kase.
“I think there’s going to be momentum swings. They’re going to have pushes, we’re going to have pushes. That’s the way it’s going to go all series long,” said James Neal.
Antoine Vermette added an empty netter for the final goal.
” I mean right now, obviously you’re disappointed, I mean tough loss, but at the same time we did a lot of good things we will take with us,” Forsberg said.
It’s the first time in the 2017 playoffs Rinne has surrendered four or more goals in a game.
“I don’t think anything changed too much,” Rinne said. “I mean, personally, got to be better moving forward, but I mean a few of the goals there crossed the net and I mean, good plays, and just ended up going in.”
Games 3 and 4 are slated for Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena Tuesday and Thursday at 7 p.m.
News 2 spoke with fans who gathered in downtown Nashville to watch the game on a big screen. Despite the disappointing loss on Sunday night, fans said they’re standing behind their beloved team.
“It’s the best team in the NHL, you know. You take a loss, you come back down and you fight,” said fan David Butler.
Other fans spoke about the support the Predators have received since making history just last week while advancing to Round 3.
“It’s terrific! I feel like everybody who lives here is standing behind then and I think we are going to win,” said Leann Stokes.