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game recap

Andersen, Ducks blank Predators in Game 3

Anaheim trails series 2-1 after goaltender makes 27 saves in first playoff start this year

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Frederik Andersen made 27 saves in his 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs debut, and the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Nashville Predators 3-0 in Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round series at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday.

Andersen has a 15-7 career record in the playoffs after his second postseason shutout. He started Game 3 after the Predators won the first two games at Honda Center with John Gibson in goal for the Ducks.

"We came with a business-like mindset," Andersen said. "We wanted to get back in the series. Huge, huge game for us. We came here to play in the first and did some of the things right we wanted to improve from the last two games."

The Predators lead the best-of-7 series 2-1. Game 4 is Thursday in Nashville (8 p.m. ET; NHLN, FX-CA, TVA Sports 3, PRIME, FS-TN).

Video: ANA@NSH, Gm3: McGinn finishes Horcoff's pretty feed

Jamie McGinn gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead at 10:05 of the first period, beating Pekka Rinne with a one-timer from the right circle. Predators defenseman Anthony Bitetto committed a turnover at the blue line to start the play. Chris Stewart controlled the puck and found Shawn Horcoff, who fed a wide-open McGinn.

Horcoff made his first appearance of the series, replacing Chris Wagner.

"It was great to see some of the guys like [Horcoff] back in the lineup," Andersen said. "Veteran presence, both on the ice and in the locker room. It was good to see him back in for us, and I think definitely the penalty kill did a great job to help us win the game."

Rickard Rakell gave the Ducks a 2-0 lead at 11:33 of the second period on a redirection from the right circle. Defenseman Sami Vatanen made a hard pass from the point that Rakell redirected on the backhand through his legs past Rinne for his first goal.

Video: ANA@NSH, Gm3: Rakell redirects puck between his legs

"He made a perfect shot-pass for me," Rakell said. "I just really had to put the stick on it. We work a lot on deflections and shots from the point in practice. I don't do that all the time, but it was a perfect pass from [Vatanen], and it was nice to see it go in."

Stewart made it 3-0 at 17:06, beating Rinne from the slot on a rebound. Center Ryan Getzlaf fed Stewart, whose original shot was stopped by Rinne. But Stewart was able to get to the rebound and backhand the puck past Rinne for his first goal.

"When we play defense first, the other things tend to work themselves out," Stewart said. "If we've got to win 1-0, 2-0, that's fine. We've been doing that the majority of the year, and that's when we're at our best."

Before the game, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said he wanted to see a better defensive effort from his team. He was happy with the response.

"I think that as a group they were responsible tonight," Boudreau said. "It was a businesslike fashion. We got the couple breaks when we got them and put them in, and that's playoff hockey."

Video: ANA@NSH, Gm3: Stewart finishes Getzlaf's set up

Predators forward Craig Smith took two shifts in the first period and did not return. The Predators said Smith had a lower-body injury.

Coach Peter Laviolette said losing Smith so early in the game caused some disruption up front.

"I think you're talking 15 or 20 seconds into the game," Laviolette said. "From that point on you're juggling lines and lines are mismatched the entire night. So taking [Smith] out of play that early just puts a shuffle to the line. It's not an excuse for the way we played but certainly we would rather have guys in there and lines rolling over as opposed to patching them together as we move through the periods."

Nashville went 0-for-5 on the power play, managing seven shots on goal.

"We took too many penalties I thought again tonight," Ducks defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. "We did a good job killing, but as the series goes on you don't want to be giving too many chances to that unit."

Video: Ducks bounce back to take Game 3 against Predators

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