Frederik Andersen made 27 saves in his first appearance of the playoffs as the Anaheim Ducks shut out the Nashville Predators by a 3-0 final in Game Three. With the Anaheim victory, Nashville leads the series 2-1, and Game Five, which is now necessary, will take place on Saturday at the Honda Center.
The Predators knew the Ducks would push back in Game Three after dropping the first two at home, but Nashville acknowledged they didn’t play up to their standards on Tuesday night, leading to their first loss of the series.
“We obviously didn’t play well enough to win, and they came in, they played a solid game, they were a desperate team and they knew they needed a win here,” forward Mike Fisher said. “They played better than us tonight, that’s the bottom line.”
"We just weren't up to the task,” Captain Shea Weber said. “We have to be better, and we know that."
The Ducks scored first for the second consecutive game after capitalizing on a Nashville turnover, with Jamie McGinn beating Pekka Rinne from the right circle for a 1-0 lead at 10:05.
Rickard Rakell’s deflection at 11:33 of the second period was followed by Chris Stewart’s first of the playoffs at 17:06 of the middle frame, giving the Ducks a 3-0 advantage through two periods.
The Predators had five chances on the power play in the contest and outshot the Ducks 13-3 in the third period, but Andersen and his teammates turned away every Nashville opportunity until the final horn.
“There’s no need to get into details, it’s just that we weren’t good enough in all areas,” forward Ryan Johansen said. “We weren’t quick, we weren’t fast, we didn’t use our legs and we didn’t use our brains as fast as we needed to. That’s why it looked easy out there for them.”
Nashville will now evaluate and regroup before Game Four commences on Thursday, with a chance to get a win at home before heading back to California this weekend.
“We’ll eventually move on,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “It just ended so… We just finished a game and we didn’t play very well. I think we’ll look at it first and try to pull from it, and go from there.”
Gif of the Game:
One of three catfish tossed on the ice prior to the opening faceoff is escorted away.
Captain Shea Weber on the team’s confidence after losing Game Three:
“I don’t think there’s any reason not to be confident. Every team goes into the playoffs confident because you’re confident your team is good enough to win. I don’t think teams go in thinking ‘I hope we win this year.’ We’re confident that we have a good team and their team as well. We know they finished high in the standings, we know they finished where they did for a reason and we knew it was going to be a good series.”
Preds Captain Shea Weber became the Preds all-time leader in postseason games played, when he skated in his 48th career playoff contest on Tuesday.
Forward Craig Smith left Game Three with a lower-body injury and did not return.
The Preds were shut out in a playoff game for the first time since May 4, 2012, in Game Four against the Phoenix Coyotes, a 1-0 loss.
Game Four between the Preds and Ducks comes Thursday in Nashville at 7 p.m. (CT), while Game Five, which is now necessary thanks to Anaheim’s win, will take place on Saturday in Anaheim. A start time for Game Five has not yet been announced.
Ryan Johansen’s quote of the game summarizes the feeling in the Preds locker room.
Infographic: Preds Drop Game Three