And while the penalties stopped coming in the overtime period, the rough stuff certainly didn’t.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman joined The Starting Lineup on Friday morning to discuss the events of Thursday’s Game 4 and break down the heated matchup.
“Anaheim is doing the old Detroit Pistons philosophy. And that is that, ‘we’re going to commit a thousand penalties, and we’ll see how many of them they actually call.’”
In total, the Ducks were called for four two-minute penalties in the third period compared to Nashville’s one. The Predators even found themselves with a 5-on-3 advantage with less than five minutes to go, thanks to two Ducks penalties in the span of 29 seconds.
“Don’t put the referees in a position where they might have to call something — and Anaheim sure did,” Friedman said. “I think when you take a look at the overall amount of things they could’ve gotten called for, and what they actually did get called for, Anaheim came out way ahead.”
The Predators didn’t manage to score on the ensuing power-plays, but they did come incredibly close on a few occasions. Both of Nashville's late goals were scored almost immediately after having the man advantage.
It’s no coincidence the Ducks showed a little extra grit in Game 4, as heavy-hitting defenceman Kevin Bieksa was inserted back into the lineup.
“I know why they put him in, they really felt like the Nashville guys were getting on top of Gibson, so they wanted something a bit more physical making it a bit harder to get there,” said Friedman.
Gibson was on the receiving end of plenty of physical play from the Predators in Game 3. Nashville even had back-to-back goals called off due to goalie interference. The tables were turned in Game 4, with Rinne being the target of some rough play. But did the Ducks go too far?
“By the end of the game last night, I don’t know if you saw the highlight pack at the end of the game, the Ducks were basically targeting Rinne’s head,” Friedman said. “I couldn’t believe what they got away with in overtime.
“I mean, I know you don’t like to call a penalty in overtime but when someone butt-ends the goalie’s mask, you’ve got to call that,” he continued. “That’s ridiculous.”
The series is now all tied up at two games apiece, with Game 5 heading back to Anaheim Saturday night.