Ducks defense comes good to shutout Preds

Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:44am EDT
 
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(The Sports Xchange) - Whether it was a change in goalies or just better defense overall, the Anaheim Ducks came up with the result they needed to produce their first win in their Western Conference quarterfinal with the Nashville Predators.

Frederik Anderson stopped all 27 shots he faced for his second postseason shutout while Chris Stewart scored a goal and added an assist Tuesday night in Anaheim's 3-0 victory at Bridgestone Arena.

Nashville still leads the series 2-1 with Game 4 scheduled for Thursday night, but the Pacific Division champions generated an impressive comeback after eating consecutive 3-2 losses at home to start the best-of-seven series.

Andersen improved to 15-7 in his postseason career as he replaced John Gibson, who didn't play badly in the defeats. But Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau expressed hope that a switch between the pipes would spark his team.

The Predators didn't lack for opportunities as Anaheim again had trouble staying out of the penalty box, but went 0-for-5 with the man advantage and are 1-for-13 in the series. That included a power play just before the midway mark of the second period in which Andersen repelled a Shea Weber one-timer with his helmet and needed a moment to clear his head before play resumed.

Pekka Rinne made 18 saves for Nashville, which was shooting for its first 3-0 series lead in franchise history.

Needing something good to happen early in order to quiet a raucous sellout crowd, Anaheim produced the first goal off a terrible turnover by Nashville's Anthony Bitetto. Given the puck at the right goalpost by Shawn Horcoff, Jamie McGinn made no mistake at 10:05 for his first goal of the series.

The Ducks upped their lead to two at 11:33 of the second period on a pretty deflection of a Sami Vatanen wrister by Richard Rakell, just Anaheim's second shot of the period.

Pressing the attack further, Anaheim made it 3-0 at 17:06 of the second when Stewart backhanded his rebound past Rinne for his first goal and second point of the night. Mild booing ushered the Predators off the ice after 40 minutes.   Continued...

 
Anaheim Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen (31) is congratulated by center Andrew Cogliano (7) after a win against the Nashville Predators in game three of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. The Ducks won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports