Forsberg fluke the difference as Preds edge Ducks
(The Sports Xchange) - Exploiting mistakes can provide the key to success in the Stanley Cup playoffs, as the Nashville Predators demonstrated Friday night.
Filip Forsberg scored with 9 minutes, 35 seconds to play to give the Predators a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in the first game of the Western Conference quarterfinals in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 17,236 at the Honda Center.
James Neal and Craig Wilson also scored while goalie Pekka Rinne stopped 27 shots for the Predators.
"It was an evenly matched game," said Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis, who added that the final score "was exactly what we expected the result to be."
Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler scored the Ducks' goals, and goalie John Gibson made 30 saves.
"It was a matter of giving them too many opportunities," Anaheim left winger Andrew Cogliano said about the Predators. "They're good at transitioning and capitalizing on mistakes. A few of those goals were exactly that. We have to manage the puck a lot better."
Game 2 will take place Sunday night at the Honda Center.
Forsberg broke a 2-2 tie at 10:25 of the third period. After poke-checking the puck away from Anaheim defenseman Simon Despres in the Predators' end, Forsberg skated unmolested down the left wing, deked past the Ducks' Jamie McGinn and passed the puck toward Craig Smith, stationed behind Anaheim defenseman Shea Theodore.
But Forsberg's pass hit Theodore's left skate and slowly skidded just beyond Gibson's left skate and glove inside the right post. Continued...