The Anaheim Ducks were able to get off to a fantastic start in Nashville during Game 4 (they dominated the shot clock 14-2 and led 1-0 heading into the second period).
But despite going into the third frame with a 2-0 lead, they allowed the Predators to force overtime.
Anaheim still managed to pick up the win to tie the series, but there are some things they’ll have to clean up if they want to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
Taking less penalties in crucial moments has to be near the top of the list.
The Ducks took four penalties (yes, four) during the third period of last night’s game. Corey Perry (slashing) at the 8:02 mark, Ondrej Kase (tripping) at the 11:25 mark, Kevin Bieksa (hi-sticking) at the 14:53 mark, and Josh Manson (slashing) at the 15:22 mark.
The Bieksa and Manson penalties gave the Preds a 5-on-3 power play in the late stages of the period. Nashville didn’t cash in on those opportunities on the man-advantage, but anytime a team has to kill that many penalties, it forces them to expend more energy.
To their credit, Anaheim did a great job of settling themselves down after blowing the lead with 35 seconds remaining. They came out for overtime and got the game-winning goal from Perry to even up the series.
“I can tell you you’re going to be frustrated, but we had to reset ourselves,” head coach Randy Carlyle said after the game. “And that’s one of the things — officiating is something that when it’s done you can’t control it. You don’t have any control over what’s just happened.
“The only thing you can control is how you reset yourself and how you plan to move forward. And I thought that we did a good job of understanding that we can’t change what just happened, but we sure can make an impression and go out and give us what you’ve got.”
Anaheim went from near disaster to being in a pretty good spot. The best-of-seven series is now tied at two, and if it goes to the distance, the Ducks will host two of the three games.