Predators beat Ducks 6-3, winning Western Conference Final

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Colton Sissons’ hat trick pushed the Nashville Predators to their first ever Stanley Cup Final as they beat Anaheim 6-3 Monday night in Nashville.

With the win, the Predators beat the Ducks four games to two, winning the Western Conference Final.

“We started this year with a belief in this team to be able to go and try and win a Stanley Cup.  I know every single team says that and start their journey through the regular season and the playoffs, and only so many teams make the playoffs, and get a chance to play and now we are down to two,” said James Neal.

“In terms of their career, between Fish (Mike Fisher) and Peks (Pekka Rinne) and Macker (Cody McLeod) and Fids (Vernon Fiddler), you know these are guys who have been around a long time.  All of them are great guys and leaders in this dressing room and deserve the opportunity to hoist the Stanley Cup,” said PK Subban.

Austin Watson gave Nashville a 1-0 lead in the first period when his shot deflected off of an Anaheim stick and passed Jonathan Bernier. It was Watson’s third goal of the playoffs.

Seven minutes later, Sissons blew a shot by Bernier for a 2-0 Nashville lead, and that’s the way the first period ended despite the Predators being outshot 12-4.

The second period was all Anaheim as the Ducks poured 13 more shots on Pekka Rinne and Ondrej Kase slapped a rebound by Rinne to cut the lead in half 2-1.

In the third period, the Predators were still being dramatically out-shot, but Pontus Aberg attacked the net setting up Sissons for his second goal of the game for a 3-1.

This time, the Ducks answered right back with Chris Wagner cutting the lead to 3-2 with 15 minutes left to play.

Three minutes later, it was a tie game at 3-3 when Cam Fowler’s slap shot from the blue line got by Rinne thanks to a screen from Corey Perry. Predators head coach Peter Laviolette challenged the goal citing goaltender interference, but it was upheld by officials.

With the game tied at 3-3 in the third, it was Sissons third goal of the night with 6 minutes to play that gave Nashville the historic victory.

After the game, Watson said the team’s depth has been the key.

“It’s been great, and you need everybody here in the playoffs, especially with the unfortunate injuries we’ve had.  To have guys step up and play great for us has been awesome,” he said.

Watson  and Filip Forsberg each scored empty netters to ice it for Nashville.