3 things we learned in the NHL: An unlikely hero

Watch as the Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks shake hands after Game 6.

The Nashville Predators are heading to their first Stanley Cup Final after a Game 6 victory over the Anaheim Ducks.

Here are three things we learned from Nashville’s win in the Western Conference Final.


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Sissons to the rescue

Colton Sissons isn’t known for his goal-scoring ability, but he came up big for the Predators in Game 6.

The 23-year-old scored a hat trick to lift Nashville into the Stanley Cup Final with a 6-3 win over the Ducks. Sissons had just eight goals in 58 regular season games.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs often offer players the opportunity to break out and make a name for themselves. Sissons did just that on Monday after not scoring since Game 4 of Nashville’s first- series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

You’re in, Jonathan

Jonathan Bernier got thrusted into the spotlight in Game 6, replacing the injured John Gibson in Anaheim’s net.

It was the first career playoff start for the 28-year-old and it didn’t start out well.

Nashville made it 1-0 just 1:21 into the game on a goal from Austin Watson. The Predators would extend the lead to 2-0 just over seven minutes later on their third shot of the game.

Bernier finished the game by facing just 16 shots and making 12 saves.

Gibson left Game 5 on Saturday night after suffering a lower-body injury in the first period.

Not going down without a fight

Sissons gave the Predators a two-goal lead early in the third period and the initial reaction was that this game was over.

But not so fast, Anaheim said. The Ducks scored two goals within 3:52 tied the game up at 3-3.

The Ducks were the definition of not going down without a fight. Their resilience was almost enough to force overtime and possibly a Game 7.

For now, Anaheim’s drought without a Stanley Cup reaches 10 years after not winning since 2007.

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