(The Sports Xchange) - David Perron and Sami Vatanen each had a goal and an assist to lead the Anaheim Ducks to a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators in the fifth game of the Stanley Cup Western Conference quarterfinals Saturday.
Ryan Garbutt, Cam Fowler and Ryan Kesler also scored, Ryan Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg contributed two assists apiece, and goalie Frederik Anderson stopped 27 shots for his third successive playoff victory, giving the Ducks a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series as they return to Nashville for Game Six on Thursday night.
Ryan Johansen and Miikka Salomaki scored their first playoff goals for the Predators, who received 27 saves from goalie Pekka Rinne.
Garbutt broke a 1-1 tie with his fourth career playoff goal at 16:23 of the second period. After winning the puck from Predators’ Shea Weber and Mike Fisher in the left corner, Garbutt whacked it between a lunging Rinne and the right post for his first goal of the series.
Vatanen extended the lead to two goals at 8:34 of the final period, seconds after leaving the penalty box for hooking. Jakob Silfverberg freed Vatanen for a breakaway, and Vatanen fired a wrist shot under the crossbar for his first playoff goal.
Salomaki used his first career playoff goal to narrow the margin with 6:31 to play. Weber fired a slap shot that hit Salomaki, who swept the deflection inside the left post.
But Fowler responded with a power-play goal 11 seconds after Mike Ribeiro received a slashing penalty. Fowler powered a slap shot from the top of the slot inside the right post with 3:21 remaining.
Kesler’s empty-net goal ended the scoring with 1:46 left.
Johansen gave Nashville a 1-0 lead 14:13 into the second period before Perron tied the score 22 seconds later.
Anaheim defenseman Simon Despres secured a loose puck in his own end but slipped while the Predators’ Colin Wilson was checking him from behind. Wilson retrieved the puck in the left corner and passed to Johansen, who flipped a backhand under the crossbar for his first point since Game One.
But at 14:35, Perron fired a slap shot from the blue line near the right boards that deflected off the left ankle of Nashville defenseman Roman Josi. The puck ricocheted so high that Rinne leaped to try to grab it. But the puck wobbled tantalizingly over his glove.
Perron’s goal was his first in the playoff in four years and the third of his career.
Both goalies made crucial saves early. With 2:16 gone in the game, Rinne stopped Corey Perry twice while the Predators were short-handed. Rinne used his left leg pad to stop Perry’s shot near the left post before blocking Perry’s attempt to convert the rebound.
Then with 8:11 left in the first period, Andersen made a lunging glove save on Josi’s slap shot after Josi received Viktor Arvidsson’s pass during a 2-on-1 breakaway.
In the second period, Andersen’s kick save foiled Josi, who spun to avoid a check from defenseman Cam Fowler before faking to his backhand and shooting 4:40 into the period.
Eight minutes into the period, Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm shoveled a backhanded shot from the top of the slot that hit the crossbar and bounced over the glass. About 15 seconds later, Rinne made a pad save against Ryan Kesler’s wrist shot on a breakaway from the right wing.
Editing by Peter Rutherford