The Anaheim Ducks evened their Western Conference Final series against the Nashville Predators with a 3-2 overtime win in Game 4 Thursday night.
At 10:25 of the extra period, the Ducks forced a turnover deep in the Predators zone. Corey Perry took possession along the side boards and whipped the puck toward the front of the net where it deflected off P.K. Subban’s stick to give Anaheim the victory.
The loss was Nashville’s first at home in the playoffs in 10 games, with their last defeat coming at the hands of the Ducks during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Perry’s goal saved what would have been an embarrassing collapse by the Ducks, who blew a 2-0 lead in a 5:51 span late in the third period. Filip Forsberg sent the game to overtime by scoring the tying goal with 34.5 seconds left as a sold out Bridgestone Arena rejoiced.
Anaheim had built up their two-goal lead thanks to a first period where they outshot Nashville 14-2 and a middle frame where goaltender John Gibson was impenetrable, stopping all 18 shots he faced.
Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler setup the opening goal when he took advantage of a bad line change by the Predators. With possession in his own end, he found an unmarked Rickard Rakell, who then fired a slapper by Pekka Rinne blocker side, the fifth goal scored in that location by Anaheim in the series.
As Gibson was busy denying Nashville at every opportunity, Ritchie doubled the lead 10:22 into the second period after patiently waiting out his shot and getting a screen from Predators defenseman Roman Josi.
P.K. Subban gave Nashville life moments after they hit the post twice while on a power play. After the penalty expired, Subban took the puck at the point in the Anaheim zone and waited — then waited some more before getting a screen in front of Gibson for his second goal of the postseason. Forsberg’s tying goal would come a little less than six minutes later.
The Ducks did their best in the third period to give the Predators opportunities to get back in the game. Anaheim handed Nashville four power plays in a span of 7:20, but their penalty kill continued to be strong in the series and killed each of them off, including a 5-on-3. Their shorthanded unit has only allowed one goal in 17 opportunities through four games.
Game 5 is Saturday night at Honda Center in Anaheim.
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