After the Nashville Predators took away two games on the road, the Anaheim Ducks have done the same. With a 4-1 victory in Game Four on Thursday night, the Ducks have evened the series at 2-2 after winning both games at Bridgestone Arena.
The Preds felt better about their overall effort on Thursday night, compared to Game Three, but the desired results still weren’t there.
“There were parts of that game where we were playing good, the crowd was in it and we were feeling good about our game; they came back, responded with some quick goals, and we couldn’t find a way to break through there in the third” center Mike Fisher said. “That was the difference.”
It took only 62 seconds for the Ducks to get the game’s first goal, as Ryan Getzlaf crashed the net and jammed a loose puck under Pekka Rinne’s pad for a 1-0 lead.
That score held through the start of the second stanza, but then the Preds got going, and Fisher finished off a period of sustained pressure when he received a Colin Wilson feed in front of the net and beat Anaheim goaltender Frederik Andersen for the first time. It was Fisher’s first tally of the postseason, the seventh different Preds player to score a goal in the series.
Before the frame was out, however, the Ducks regained the lead when Nate Thompson made it 2-1, and then Jamie McGinn scored his second in as many games for a two-goal advantage heading into the third period.
The Preds were unable to get another past Andersen in the final 20, setting up what has turned into a best-of-three scenario with the series even as things shift back to Anaheim.
“We have to get the next one,” Captain Shea Weber said. “There’s nothing we can do about the past two, and we hadn’t won anything after the first two. It’s a seven-game series for a reason, you have to win four games and the first team to do so wins.”
“That’s the name of the playoffs; the playoffs go back and forth,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “There’s ups and downs to it. You have to respond to it. There’s a day in between games. Our guys will be ready to play in Anaheim, I’m sure of that. The effort was there tonight, the results we don’t like and we’ll look to try and fix those and get better.”
Gif of the Game:
Country music star Tim McGraw rallies Smashville prior to the opening faceoff.
Defenseman Ryan Ellis on the approach with a 2-2 series:
“We just fight back. We played better, I liked our game. I thought our second period for the most part was really strong and then a couple of shots here and there bit us. We have to pick our heads up. We have to come back and play harder, play tougher and find our game again.”
Craig Smith, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, did not play in Game Four.
Colton Sissons made his Stanley Cup Playoff debut in place of Smith, logging one shot and three hits in 8:58 of ice time.
Game Five comes Saturday in Anaheim at 5 p.m. (CT), with local TV coverage on Fox Sports Tennessee and radio coverage on 102.5 The Game. Game Six is now necessary and will be played Monday in Nashville, but is yet to receive an announced start time.
The Ducks score twice in the second period and win 4-1 to even the Round One series at 2-2.
Infographic: Ducks Tie The Series