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game recap

Ducks rally to win Game 2 against Predators, tie series

Overcome poor start by scoring three goals in second period

by Dan Arritt / NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks continued their comeback ways by scoring three goals in the second period of a 5-3 win against the Nashville Predators in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final at Honda Center on Sunday.

The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1 with Game 3 at Nashville on Tuesday.

"Everybody says we go about it the hard way," said Ducks goaltender John Gibson, who made 26 saves on 27 shots after allowing two goals on the first six he faced. "As long as we get the job done, that's all we're worried about."

 

[WATCH: All Ducks vs. Predators highlights | RELATED: Complete Anaheim vs. Nashville series coverage]

 

Nashville led 2-0 8:32 into the game on goals by Ryan Johansen and James Neal. Anaheim defenseman Sami Vatanen scored on the power play to make it 2-1 with one minute left in the first period.

Vatanen's first goal of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs ended an 0-for-21 stretch with the power play for the Ducks.

Jakob Silfverberg, Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie scored in the second period for Anaheim, and Ryan Getzlaf had three assists.

Video: NSH@ANA, Gm2: Silfverberg slides home Rakell's dish

Ritchie put the Ducks ahead 4-3 at 17:07 of the second period when his wrist shot from the left faceoff circle went in off Predators goalie Pekka Rinne's mask. It was his second winning goal in the past three games.

"I got lucky and got the puck up there," Ritchie said.

Antoine Vermette scored into an empty net to make it 5-3 with 46 seconds remaining.

Four of Anaheim's nine wins in the postseason have come after they trailed by two or more goals.

Johansen scored on a breakaway at 4:18 of the first period to make it 1-0, and Neal put the Predators ahead 2-0 with a power-play goal at 8:32. It was the first time in the playoffs that Nashville scored twice in the first.

Video: NSH@ANA, Gm2: Johansen strikes on early breakaway

Anaheim went on its first power play after defenseman Matt Irwin was called for tripping Kase in front of the Nashville net with 1:32 left in the first. Vatanen brought the puck into the Predators zone with room and beat Rinne high to the stick side from the right circle.

"We haven't scored many goals on the power play so far, but let's hope the ketchup bottle is open now and we can keep scoring," Vatanen said.

Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said Vatanen's goal was the key moment in the game.

"Changed the game, changed the momentum," he said.

Silfverberg tied it 2-2 39 seconds into the second period. It was his ninth goal of the playoffs, tied with Jake Guentzel of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the NHL lead.

Filip Forsberg put Nashville ahead 3-2 at 7:59, but Kase scored his first NHL playoff goal at 10:41 to tie it 3-3.

Rinne allowed four goals on 26 shots. He had not allowed more than three goals in 11 playoff games.

 

Goal of the game

Getzlaf one-touched a pass from defenseman Brandon Montour in the neutral zone into the left circle in the Predators zone for Ritchie, who skated past defenseman Ryan Ellis and beat Rinne with a high shot.

Video: NSH@ANA, Gm2: Ritchie rifles shot in off Rinne's mask

 

Save of the game

With the Ducks leading 4-3, Gibson got in front of Forsberg's redirection of defenseman Mattias Ekholm's shot from the left point at 6:08 of the third period.

 

Highlight of the game

The Ducks survived a 10-second span in the third period with Gibson sprawled in the crease. Gibson made a save on a Mike Fisher redirection at 14:11 and another on Austin Watson at 14:18. In between, Ryan Kesler and Josh Manson each blocked a shot before Gibson covered the puck at 14:19.

Video: NSH@ANA, Gm2: Ducks, Gibson stop flurry of shots

 

Unsung performance of the game

Kesler, who had the secondary assist on Vatanen's goal, provided the screen that caused Rinne to lose sight of the puck on Silfverberg's goal and went 14-for-22 (64 percent) on faceoffs.

Video: NSH@ANA, Gm2: Vatanen blisters a slapper for PPG

 

They said it

"Tonight's response after getting down 2-0 is a character-builder for our group. We believe we can go into any building and play with the teams we're up against and give ourselves a chance for success." -- Ducks coach Randy Carlyle

 

"I thought from a defensive standpoint we could have been a little bit tighter, a little bit quicker to what we were doing, a little bit more mindful of what we were doing." -- Predators coach Peter Laviolette

 

Need to know

With one more win after trailing by two or more goals, the Ducks would tie the 1987 Philadelphia Flyers for most in a single postseason in NHL history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Their four are tied for second-most with the 1973 and 1979 Montreal Canadiens, the 1986 St. Louis Blues, and the 2014 Los Angeles Kings. ... Before Vatanen's goal, the Ducks had not scored on the power play since April 28, in Game 2 of the second round against the Edmonton Oilers. ... Ritchie scored the winner in a 2-1 victory against the Oilers in Game 7. He had three winning goals in 77 regular-season games. ... Getzlaf, who had been kept off the score sheet in three straight games, is second in the NHL with 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists), trailing Evgeni Malkin of the Penguins (19). ... Johansen has 13 points (three goals, 10 assists), tying him with Joel Ward (2011) and Colin Wilson (2016) for most in a single postseason in Predators history. ... Neal has four goals in the past five games.

 

What's next

Game 3 of Western Conference Final at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVA Sports)

 

Video: Ducks rally past Preds to win Game 2 and even series

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