for this game

Predators edge Ducks, grab series lead

Apr 18, 2011 - 3:19 AM
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Mike Fisher scored the game-winner midway through the third period, as the Nashville Predators beat the Anaheim Ducks, 4-3, in Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinal set at Bridgestone Arena.

Martin Erat had a goal and an assist for the fifth-seeded Predators, who bounced back from a 5-3 defeat in Game 2 to take a 2-1 series lead. Jordin Tootoo and David Legwand also lit the lamp.

"My linemates are playing really well and giving me opportunities to score," Fisher said.

Pekka Rinne made 13 saves for Nashville, which has never won a playoff series in the franchise's brief history, having been knocked out in the first round all five times it has made the postseason.

Teemu Selanne had two goals for the Ducks, who were without forward Bobby Ryan because of his two-game suspension. Ryan, who had 34 goals in the regular season, was docked by the NHL Saturday for stomping on the skate of Predators defenseman Jonathon Blum late in Anaheim's victory Friday.

Matt Beleskey also scored for Anaheim, which got 33 saves from Ray Emery.

"We committed some atrocious turnovers in the hockey game in the defensive zone," Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said. "If we don't play better defensively than we played tonight, then I don't think we can give ourselves much of a chance."

Game 4 is set for Wednesday in Nashville.

Fisher lit the lamp at the 10:21 mark of the third period to snap a 3-3 deadlock. Following a dump into the Anaheim zone, Sergei Kostitsyn gathered a loose puck at the bottom of the right circle. He quickly passed to the left side of the net for Fisher, who chipped the disc into the net.

The Ducks' chances of tying the game took a major blow when veteran forward Saku Koivu was sent to the box for tripping with 2:20 to play.

Emery was pulled with about 30 seconds remaining, but Anaheim failed to take advantage.

The Predators scored a pair of goals within a 38-second span late in the first period.

Erat got the scoring started with a power-play goal at the 15-minute mark. Cody Franson fired a shot on net from the bottom of the right circle. Emery allowed the rebound to settle in front, and Erat chipped the loose disc past the Anaheim netminder.

Tootoo found the back of the net on the following shift to make it 2-0. A nice steal by Tootoo in front of Emery led to him firing a shot off the crossbar. Tootoo managed to jam home his own rebound despite falling to the ice.

The Ducks used some quick scoring of their own late in the second to tie the game. Selanne scored the first of two straight tallies on the power play with 1:50 remaining. Corey Perry gathered the disc behind the net and slid a pass in front for the still-flashy Finn, who completed the play with a tip-in.

The 40-year-old lit the lamp again just 30 seconds later. Perry's shot from the left point set up a rebound in front. Selanne controlled the loose puck and found the back of the net from the right side of the crease to make it 2-2.

Legwand gave Nashville a 3-2 lead at the 5:25 mark of the third. Ryan Suter controlled the puck near the bottom of the left circle and slid a pass across the crease. Legwand was at the side of the net for an easy tap-in.

The Ducks tied the game over a minute later. A shot from the right point hit off the skate of a falling Beleskey in front and Rinne failed to stop the redirection.

Game Notes

Nashville and Anaheim are meeting for the first time in the postseason...Nashville went 1-for-5 on the power play...Perry had two assists for the Ducks, who went 1-for-2 on the man advantage...Suter had two assists.