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Ducks forced to play next two without Ryan

by Brian Compton

(Best-of-seven series tied, 1-1)

TV: TSN, RIS, Fox Sports-West, Fox Sports-Tennessee.

Big Story: Just when they thought they had the momentum, the Anaheim Ducks learned Saturday that they will play Games 3 and 4 in Nashville without Bobby Ryan. The star forward received a two-game suspension from the NHL for a kicking incident involving Nashville's Jonathon Blum in the third period of Friday's 5-3 win against the Preds at the Honda Center.

"I had tried four or five times in the pile-up there to kick the puck loose and the last time I raised my foot a little higher and just turned my foot at the wrong time and came down right on top of him," Ryan said. "The intent was good, the result was bad is basically the best way to put it."

Team Scope:

Ducks: Desperately needing a victory Friday night, Anaheim received a two-goal effort from Ryan and a three-point night from Ryan Getzlaf as the Ducks evened this best-of-seven series with the Preds. The win didn't come easily, though, as Anaheim took a 4-1 lead into the third period before Nashville rallied with a pair of goals to make it a one-goal game. Ryan iced the victory in the final minute with an empty-net tally.

"They are a grinding team and we knew that they weren't going to lie down," Ducks goalie Ray Emery said. "After they made it 4-3, we did a good job of controlling things, getting pucks deep, simplifying things and not giving them much after that."

Predators: Nashville must be thrilled to know it will play the next two games without having to worry about facing Ryan, who scored 34 goals during the regular season. Preds coach Barry Trotz didn't hide his feelings when asked what he felt about the play.

"From my standpoint, I saw the incident -- that's one of the cardinal sins in our game that you commit," Trotz said. "There's no place for it in our game and the only intent is to hurt someone, so that's what we're trying to get out of the game. He's one heck of a player. I'd love to have Bobby Ryan on my team, but I think he did wrong on that one and there's no place [for that] in the game. You talk to any player, it's dangerous and it's a cardinal sin in the game of hockey."

Who's Hot: Getzlaf has 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) in the first two games, while Corey Perry is 1-2-3 in the series thus far. Teemu Selanne also has a pair of goals. … Preds forward Mike Fisher has 2 goals and 2 assists in the first two games, while defenseman Shea Weber has 2 goals and an assist.

Injury Report: The Ducks are expected to be without goaltender Jonas Hiller, who is still feeling the effects of vertigo.

Stat Pack: Anaheim has gone on to win a series 10 out of 11 times when it has won Game 2. The exception came in the 2009 conference semifinals, when the Ducks fell to Detroit in the waning minutes of Game 7.

Puck Drop: "It's an honor to be on a great team. At Christmastime this year, it's something I never expected, to play in a playoff game. I'm really appreciative for the opportunity and I want to make the most of it." -- Ducks goalie Ray Emery

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