Ducks rally to defeat Predators, even series at 1-1
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Nick Ritchie scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, and the Anaheim Ducks rallied for a 5-3 victory over the Nashville Predators on Sunday at Honda Center to even the Western Conference final at a game apiece.
Sami Vatanen, Jacob Silfverberg and Ondrej Kase each had a goal for the Ducks, who wiped out a two-goal deficit to prevail. Anaheim's Antoine Vermette added an empty-netter with 43.6 seconds left. Ryan Getzlaf had three assists, and Cam Fowler had two.
Anaheim goalie John Gibson stopped 30 shots. Gibson also prevented Nashville from tying the score in the third period with saves on several shots from close range with 5:41 remaining.
Ryan Johansen, James Neal and Filip Forsberg scored for the Predators, and Viktor Arvidsson contributed two assists. Pekka Rinne recorded 22 saves.
Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
Johansen gave the Predators a 1-0 lead with a breakaway goal at 4:18 of the first period. Arvidsson flipped a pass ahead of the Ducks' defenders to hit a streaking Johansen, who slipped the puck by Gibson for his third goal of the postseason.
Neal, who scored the game-winning goal in overtime in Game 1, made it 2-0 with a power-play tally at 8:32 of the first. Neal scored from point-blank range on an assist from Johansen for his fifth goal of the postseason.
With a minute left in the first, Vatanen fired a rocket past Rinne for a power-play goal to slice the Ducks' deficit to 2-1. For Vatanen, it was his first goal of the playoffs. It also ended an 0-for-20 drought on power plays in the last seven games for Anaheim.
Silfverberg knotted the score 39 seconds into the second period with his ninth postseason goal by cashing in a pass from Rickard Rakell.
Forsberg scored his fifth playoff goal at 7:59 for a 3-2 Nashville edge, but Kase tied it again with his first postseason goal at 10:41 of the second.
Ritchie lifted the Ducks to a 4-3 lead by scoring with 2:53 remaining in the second.