Predators grab Game 1 from Ducks in overtime

American Watson scored early in the second to give the Predators their first lead of the game but then Anaheim defenseman Hampus Lindholm tied it 2-2 with a wrist shot from the left point that glanced off the post and in.

The Ducks killed off a 5-on-3 disadvantage midway through the third period to keep the game tied.

With one of the playoffs' worst save percentages and goals-against averages, John Gibson hadn't really distinguished himself this spring until Game 7 against Edmonton, when he was outstanding in a 2-1 win.

The Predators hung on to that lead through the end of the second period, but the Ducks' offense started to surge in the third and Lindholm netted the game-tying goal.

Filip Forsberg and Austin Watson scored in regulation for Nashville, which improved to 9-2 in the postseason.

Nashville dominated the exhausted Ducks, and Forsberg forced a turnover on a forecheck before tipping Matt Irwin's shot through Gibson for his fourth goal.

The Ducks will be back on ice two days after finishing off Edmonton in Game 7.

Game 1 was an intense affair between these conference rivals.

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The Ducks figure to offer the Predators their most physical test of the postseason with physical forwards and an aggressive forecheck.

Neal one-timed a shot through a maze of players as the Predators won game one on the road in their first appearance in franchise history in the National Hockey League semi-finals. "Any time you have a chance to play against them, you know it's going to be a battle". Mattias Ekholm had a lot to do overall in the hard-earned victory.

What seems like a rematch of last year's Round One series, Nashville Predators lock horns with Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference Final.

Thanks to Rinne's stout presence in net, the Predators negated the Ducks' home-ice advantage and reinforced the notion they won't be an easy out. We haven't played a team like that in a while.

The Predators entered the third period with a lead, having gone 5-0 in the playoffs with a lead after two and 29-2-6 in the regular season.

He also did everything he could to will the Ducks into this game, at one point controlling the play in the Nashville zone for 10 full seconds, notching two shots of his team-high five shots. "They dominated us and we didn't move our feet", Carlyle said.

"Obviously, it's a new year, new teams, (but) for some of us, it means a little bit more", Anaheim center Ryan Kesler said. Both times I've played them, it's been a six-game series and a seven-game series. Thirteen different players have scored goals in the playoffs, including eight different players scoring game-winners through their eight playoff wins.

The Predators already slayed the top dog in the Western Conference, with a surprising sweep of the 109-point Blackhawks in the first round.

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