NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE — The Anaheim Ducks failed to close out the series against the Predators in Nashville on Monday night.
When the Ducks have had a 3-2 series lead, closing the series out in Game 6 has proven to be difficult in recent years as Anaheim has gone 1-6 in those games.
The Ducks hoped to change that on Monday night, but were unable to score an equalizer late in the game, and Nashville slipped away with a 3-1 victory after sealing the game with an empty net goal.
The Predators jumped out to a 2-0 lead after a scoreless first period. With 15 seconds remaining the middle period a shot from the point squirmed through Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne’s pads and lay helpless in front of an open net as Ducks forward Ryan Kesler crashed down and put the puck in the back of the net, cutting the deficit in half.
The Ducks fought hard in the third period to try and tie the game but Rinne made of a flurry of marvelous shots to keep Anaheim from adding to their score.
“They’re fighting for their lives and we knew that we were going to get their best,” said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf after the game to the press. “They got one more than we did tonight, well, two with the empty netter. They did some things we expected. They played hard. They had guys blocking shots, and [Pekke Rinne] played good. I didn’t think we did a good enough job getting to Pekka. He saw too many pucks and we weren’t there for enough rebounds.”
Rinne saw 27 shots and saved all but one of them. Ducks goalkeeper, Frederik Andersen, stopped 23 of 25 shots and suffered his first loss of the series.
The Ducks now return to Anaheim where they will host the win-or-go-home, all-or-nothing, Game 7 at Honda Center.
Corey Perry will need to have a big game for Anaheim if they hope to survive the series. He has been held goal-less in all six games thus far.
The puck is set to drop Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. PST. The San Jose Sharks await the winner of the series.