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Conference Final

Never-say-die Ducks avoid having tables turned in Game 4

Blow lead late in third against Predators, recover to tie series with OT win

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- The Anaheim Ducks certainly have plenty of experience coming back from down multiple goals to win games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

They were able to avoid having the tables turned on them with their 3-2 overtime win against the Nashville Predators in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday.

 

[RELATED: Complete Ducks vs. Predators series coverage | Cotsonika: Ducks overcame adversity in Game 4]

 

The Ducks, who have rallied to win after trailing by two or more goals four times in the postseason, led 2-0 in the third period before P.K. Subban scored on a slap shot from the point at 13:33 of the third period and Filip Forsberg tied the game 2-2 with 34.5 seconds remaining.

All of a sudden, Anaheim had to go to the locker room and regroup before coming out for overtime against a team that had stolen the momentum late in the game and had won 10 straight in the playoffs on home ice.

And the Ducks were able to do just that: regroup.

"You have to, you don't really have a choice," center Nate Thompson said. "You can't change the past. They came back, tied it up. We couldn't come in here and sulk about it. We had to forget about it, reset and go out and try to win the game."

Video: Perry's OT goal gives Ducks 3-2 win in Game 4

Corey Perry scored at 10:25 of overtime to tie the best-of-7 series 2-2 and recapture home-ice advantage for the Ducks heading into Game 5 at Anaheim on Saturday (7:15 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

Anaheim, boasting a lineup of veteran players who have been in similar situations so many times before, battled through the adversity of losing the lead late in the third period to get its fifth road win of the playoffs.

"You have to credit your players," coach Randy Carlyle said. "Those are the people that are out there putting it on the line, and we've been able to find ways to reach back and get more, if it's 5 percent more, 10 percent more. And some nights we ask that we need our group collectively. If everybody in that room can give us 10 percent more, then collectively that would have a huge swing in our favor ..."

It was Perry's fourth career overtime goal in the NHL playoffs, third in 2017. He is fifth in League history behind Joe Sakic (eight), Maurice Richard (six) and Patrick Kane and Glenn Anderson (five each).

The playoffs have been a roller-coaster ride for the Ducks the past three seasons. They were eliminated in Game 7 of the 2014 second round by the Los Angeles Kings, in Game 7 of the 2015 conference final by the Chicago Blackhawks and in Game 7 of the 2016 first round by the Predators, all at home.

Despite those difficult losses, the Ducks believe they have learned what it takes to remain calm in adverse situations.

"I think the last three or four years, we've obviously gone through a lot, more downs in the playoffs than ups," goaltender John Gibson said. "But I think we just learn from that and I think now that we have a sense of calmness and we have the ability to always regroup. Whether we're up or down or something like that happens, I think we all just have the belief in the locker room and we trust one another that we can come back or have success in any situation."

The Ducks have an opportunity to take a lead in the series for the first time in Game 5. They're hopeful their ability to remain calm under pressure will lead to two more wins and Anaheim's first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final since 2007.

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