In their first-ever game in a Western Conference Final, the Nashville Predators managed a gritty, impressive 3-2 overtime victory against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.
James Neal seemed like he might have been injured during the third period, but luckily for the Predators, he came back soon after leaving the ice.
In overtime, he took advantage of a bright fake-and-pass by P.K. Subban to score the overtime-clincher.
It makes sense that Subban and Mattias Ekholm were involved in the game-winner, as Nashville’s defense factored into key parts of Game 1. Ryan Ellis fired seven shots on goal, Ekholm and Roman Josi fired four apiece and every blueliner on that team got at least one on net.
The Predators made it a busy night for John Gibson, generating a 46-29 shot differential in this one. This was a physical contest, too, with the two teams combining for 55 hits.
Ultimately, the Predators were too much for the Ducks on Friday. Attribute that to Nashville’s strengths or Anaheim’s fatigue, but either way, it was an impressive showing for a West wild card team that hasn’t looked out of place with favorites during these playoffs.
Nashville gets a chance to bolster a 1-0 lead into a 2-0 advantage in Game 2 in Anaheim on Sunday. That contest airs at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch online and via the NBC Sports App; click here for the livestream link.