Ducks down and out after Predators win decider

Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:35am EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - After winning Game 6 of their Western Conference quarter-final series on Monday, the Nashville Predators saw a message in their locker room: "Noon flight to Anaheim. Pack for six days."

Colin Wilson, Paul Gaustad and Pekka Rinne ensured those instructions would remain relevant.

Wilson and Gaustad scored in the first period as the Predators eliminated the Anaheim Ducks from the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 2-1 victory in the seventh game of the series on Wednesday at the Honda Center.

Rinne stopped 36 shots for the Predators, who will face the San Jose Sharks on Friday in the first game of the conference semi-finals.

"I was able to see most of the shots," Rinne said. "Defensively, I thought we did an excellent job. Sometimes, you have to win games like that."

Ducks left winger Andrew Cogliano agreed.

"Tonight was probably one of our best offensive games in the series, if not the best," Cogliano said, "but they gutted it out. They're a tough team to play against in their own end because they cut cycles off."

The victory came in the first Game 7 in Predators history.

"It's a big step," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. "If you don't take this step, you can't take any more steps."   Continued...

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler (4) and Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen (92) battle for the puck in game seven of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports