All it took for the Anaheim Ducks to brush off their bad luck losing streak was to just come home again. That turned everything around after losing the first two games at home. Saturday, they beat the Nashville Predators 5-2.
They beat the Nashville Predators 5-2 on Saturday for the first victory by a home team in their first-round series, taking a 3-2 lead and all but forgetting their earlier losses on home ice.
“Those first two games we lost at home were rock bottom for us,” said Ryan Garbutt, who scored the go-ahead goal in the second period. “We definitely want to finish it off in six.”
The Ducks had rallied to tie the series with two wins in Nashville, where Game 6 is Monday.
“We have a chance to go there and close it, and we’ve got to do it,” said David Perron, who had the tying goal in the second and assisted on Garbutt’s goal along with Ryan Getzlaf.
“He seems to stand tall when the moment is brightest and biggest,” Cam Fowler said.
Perron scored his first playoff goal 22 seconds after Nashville had taken a 1-0 lead. His slap shot from the point took a weird bounce, hitting defenseman Roman Josi before Pekka Rinne made a desperate stab with his left glove as it sailed over his head and into the net.
“A real fluky re-direct that goes up and over,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. “We had the most looks and the most chances, but there’s not a lot of room out there. After Game 1, they really clamped down.”
Garbutt gave the Ducks their first lead of the game at 16:23. He fought off Mike Fisher and Shea Weber while digging the puck out of the boards behind the net and stuffing it around the right post.
“Garbutt was behind the net, and it was hard to see him,” Rinne said. “It was a bad angle, and that goal gave them momentum.”
The Ducks added three goals in the third. Sami Vatanen scored on a breakaway; Fowler had a power-play goal, and Ryan Kesler added an empty-netter.
Rinne had 27 saves for the Predators. They trailed 3-2 in the third on Miikka Salomaki’s wrist shot before the Ducks put the game out of reach with a pair of goals.
Ryan Johansen scored for Nashville 22 seconds before the Ducks tied it in the second.
“When you play hard, you expect results,” Johansen said. “They got a few lucky bounces and got two fluke goals. It’s never easy sailing in the playoffs.”