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Preview: Ducks, Preds Take WCF to 'Smashville' for Game 3

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

NASHVILLE -- Though it will always be nicknamed Music City, Tennessee's capital also goes by another affectionate - and appropriate - sobriquet: Smashville.

That is what the locals here refer to their city as, and you don't need to go very far outside Bridgestone Arena to see why. A demolition car painted in Ducks colors (with their logo on it) will be parked outside the arena, waiting for fans (who donate a charitable fee) to smash it to pieces with a sledgehammer.

After the Predators took Game 1 of this best-of-seven Western Conference Final in overtime on Friday, the Ducks responded with a 5-3 victory in Game 2 on Sunday night, a game they couldn't afford to let slip away. Although they have proven their ability to overcome adversity, especially on the road, going down 0-2 for the second consecutive series would have been a tough hill to climb. Instead, a series deadlocked at a game apiece now shifts to Bridgestone Arena for Games 3 and 4.

How big was that Game 2 victory? Head coach Randy Carlyle called it a "character builder" for his club, and acknowledges that every game from here on out takes on significant importance.

"We know how important these games are," he said. "We believe we can go into any building and play with the teams we're up against and give ourselves a chance for success."

Anaheim's ability to overcome deficits during this postseason run is remarkable. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, of the 14 multi-goal comeback victories this postseason, four have been from the Ducks, marking the sixth time in NHL history a team has earned at least four such victories in a single postseason. The other instances are the Montreal Canadiens in 1973 and 1979 (4 in each), the St. Louis Blues in 1986 (4), the Philadelphia Flyers in 1987 (5) and the LA Kings in 2014 (4).

Furthermore, with their victory two nights ago, the Ducks overcame a deficit (of any margin) to win for the sixth time this postseason. Per Elias, Anaheim overcame a multi-goal deficit to win only four times during the regular season.

"We have that confidence in our room that we're going to keep that same mentality," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said to reporters after Game 2. "We talk about it all the time that if we keep doing the same things, we're going to get rewarded. At times, it's easier said than done, but we have a belief. We've done it in the past, so you look back on those moments and it helps keeps the group calm."

Getzlaf enters tonight's game on the heels of a career-tying three-assist performance on Sunday, his first multi-assist contest of this postseason. (His last three-assist postseason game came on April 30, 2015 vs. Calgary). Getzlaf ranks second in the NHL in playoffs scoring (18 points, 8g/10a) behind only Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin (19 points, 6g/13a).

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