Three things we learned in the NHL: Ducks blow it but win it

The Predators brought out the A-list celebrity talent once again, getting Kelly Clarkson to sing Star Spangled Banner and having Kings of Leon as “official towel wavers.”

• Ducks come out firing
• Predators storm back
• An own goal evens the series

The fun thing about roller coasters is that they go up. And they go down.

Thursday’s Game 4 between the Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks had a little bit of both.

Ultimately the Ducks came away with a 3-2 overtime win. But the Predators didn’t make it easy for them, forcing the extra frame with a final-minute goal.

Here are three things we learned.

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Ducks come flying out of gate

The Anaheim Ducks clearly weren’t happy with the way Game 3 went and that frustration led to a near-perfect first period.

The Ducks were all over the ice in the first, outshooting the Predators 14-2 and scoring the first goal of the game.

“That was by far Anaheim’s best period of the series,” Sportsnet’s Eliotte Friedman said during the first intermission. And it couldn’t have come at a better time.

In Game 3, the Predators outshot Anaheim 40-20 and carried the play. After that game, Ducks’ coach Randy Carlyle suggested the person counting the shots needed glasses. I’m sure he’s not feeling that way now.

The Predators closed the shot gap with a strong third period, but the Ducks ultimately finished with a 37-34 advantage.


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Predators make impressive comeback in third

The Predators looked down and out heading into the third period. The Ducks were up 2-0, John Gibson was standing on his head and there wasn’t much momentum favouring the home team.

But that didn’t stop them from forcing the game to overtime.

The Predators carried most of the play in the third, but that’s because the Ducks let them. Anaheim took four penalties in the period, including giving Nashville a 90-second 5-on-3 with six minutes to play.

While the Predators didn’t score on any of those advantages, the Ducks were on their heels after each one. The forecheck from the first two periods was gone and the Ducks were simply trying to hold on.

In the end they couldn’t. The Predators outshot the Ducks 11-5 in the third and outscored them 2-0.

P.K. Subban fired a slapshot from the point and Filip Forsberg stuffed in a rebound with less than 30 seconds to play and suddenly the game was tied.

The Hockey Night and Canada panel talked about the comeback in the intermission before overtime.

And the winner is…

In the end, Corey Perry‘s shot deflected off Subban’s stick (and maybe teammate Nate Thompson) to give the Ducks the win.

The win was a massive save for the Ducks after that disastrous third period. After blowing a 2-0 lead, everyone was expecting the Predators to finish the comeback with a win. But the Ducks had other ideas.

Perry has now scored in two consecutive games and is tied with Teemu Selanne as the Ducks franchise leader with eight overtime winners. The Predators had a 10-game home-winning streak snapped on the goal.

While the Predators were definitely upset with the loss, their mood post-game didn’t show it. The players were happy with the comeback and still know they are two wins away from the final.

And if you’re one of those fans who looks for reasons why their favourite team is losing, please know that Kelly Clarkson’s amazing anthem before the game is not the reason why Nashville lost.

Let Kelly be. She is awesome.

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