Nashville Predators vs Anaheim Ducks: Game 3 Preview

Anaheim Ducks center Andrew Cogliano celebrates after scoring during the second period in Game 7 of a second-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series against the Edmonton Oilers in Anaheim Calif. Wednesday

Anaheim Ducks center Andrew Cogliano celebrates after scoring during the second period in Game 7 of a second-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series against the Edmonton Oilers in Anaheim Calif. Wednesday

Therefore the Ducks will have trouble advancing past the Predators to the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals.

The Ottawa Senators took a stunning 1-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals against the reigning and defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins with a 2-1 OT victory in Game 1.

Kevin Hayes and Brady Skjei played their first game since joining the side following the New York Rangers' elimination from the National Hockey League playoffs. Anaheim last scored a PP goal in game two of the previous round. A 6 p.m. local start time combined with Southern California's legendarily bad Friday traffic to leave thousands of empty seats in Honda Center at the opening faceoff.

The Nashville Predators look to protect their home ice and take a 2-1 series lead.

Johansen gave the Ducks credit for coming back. The team owned a plus-1 shot differential during the regular season.

Heading into the third period, the Nashville Predators had yet to find a way to beat Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson after 28 shots. And I think we've been doing that. While Johansen has the clear edge on the scoresheet, Kesler has ramped up the physicality ten-fold - most notably getting away with a nasty elbow to the head of Johansen. In the third period, with the Predators trailing by a goal, Johansen was frustrated enough to take a high-sticking penalty on Kesler.

"I mean, it just blows my mind watching", Johansen said. "So I don't know who is counting the shots".

Nashville's top two scorers in the playoffs are forwards Filip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen; their next three top point producers are all defensemen, which indicates just how balanced a team they are from a scoring perspective. "I'm not going to run someone over, but I can be harder to play against and make guys have to do something good if they're going to get a scoring chance".

Journalist killed in Mexican state of Sinaloa
Photo of Mexican award-winning local journalist and Agence France-Presse contributor Javier Valdez , taken on May 23, 2013. Valdez spent years documenting the violence in Mexico, and his death triggered an outpouring of grief across the country.

That is such a heavy quote, mostly for two reasons - it propels this series into a war of words while also giving Kesler some level of justification for what he does on the ice.

Mariota left the beer chugging to his offensive counterparts though and instead waved his Predators rally towel. It's not often you see one of Nashville's top players decide to go full bore and address it with the media afterwards, but here we are. How quickly you can turn the page and focus on the next day and the next game.

Will it result in a different bit of officiating in Game 3?

So ... Johansen ... not a fan of Kesler.

Ryan Kesler knows that he has managed to rattle Predators center Ryan Johansen and the veteran Anaheim Ducks center doesn't plan on easing up. Novel Yosi sold the most: a puck to the author of the winning throw came after a throw of Matthias Ekholm from the blue line and a rebound from Victor Arvidsson and Yossi sent the rubber disc into the goal and scored his fifth goal in the playoffs.

Game 4 is set for Thursday in Nashville.

While Young may be busy on the road for the They Don't Know Tour with Jason Aldean as well as promoting his brand new single, "Losing Sleep", but he still squeezes in enough time to bring his "fang fingers" out on display to watch the boys in gold and navy move on to the next playoff round.

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