Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

NHL: Nashville led the series with "Anaheim" in the Stanley Cup finals


And the teams were just getting started.

When you're a goalie however, both questions apply. Oh, they attempted to show more life early on Sunday, although, frankly, it would have been hard for that not to happen.

Johansen had a goal and an assist in his team's 5-3 loss.

But the how? That really stung.

John Gibson, starting goalie for the Anaheim Ducks, has somehow, by the stroke of God, managed to get his team to the Western Conference Final.

"That's the way it is - playoff hockey", Gibson said of taking a few tumbles.

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The result of those moves was a Cup celebration and parade last summer, and they continue to pay dividends.

The lone goal of Game 2 came at 13:05 of the third, as Phil Kessel followed up his initial shot, which was blocked, and scored his sixth goal of the playoffs. "I don't know who was keeping it", Carlyle said, "but he better get a pair of glasses". Since Eaves was injured in game three of that series, the Ducks have been shutout in their last 20 PP attempts.

Just when it seemed like the Ducks were about to throw in the towel on the period and get out in a 2 goal deficit, Sami Vatanen launched an absolute bomb from the left circle to beat Rinne short side with just a minute left.

Anaheim, which had trailed 2-0 and then 3-2 after Forsberg's goal, tied things up when Ondrej Kase somehow snuck a shot that banked in off Rinne's pads and trickle over the line. If the first one was debatable, the second one was obvious to all but the raucous fans who thought Mattias Ekholm should have been allowed to bowl over Gibson. "It was hard, it was quick, and he got everything into it".

Meanwhile, fans of Young can go out and support him on tour by checking out his set on the They Don't Know Tour this summer.

The victor would come off the stick of Ritchie, another shot from a distance that needed to be stopped. Filip Forsberg had some high praise for his linemate Johansen. "He's the reason that we are where we are".

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For long stretches, it felt like the game could have been played in mid-December instead of mid-May, which was just fine by Ottawa. Anaheim still rallied to force overtime on Hampus Lindholm's clutch third-period goal, but James Neal ended it for Nashville. And with the speed of the game in 2017, perhaps the trend is towards more scoring.

"Tonight's response after getting down 2-0 is a character builder for our group", said Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle.

Since becoming a regular with Anaheim in 2014-15 (albeit in a backup role), Gibson's save percentage has increased every year. "There are too many variables".

That the Johansen line has combined for three goals and eight points in two games on the road, where they have seen a steady diet of slashes and hacks from Ryan Kesler and the Ducks' shutdown line, has been even more impressive.

Kesler's pestiness (pestilence?) has clearly gotten to Johansen-here are just some of the battles between the two on Sunday. "I don't know how you cheer for a guy like that".

We watched Connor McDavid wear Kesler like a beaver skin throughout Round 2, with the constant whacks and hacks that simply overwhelm a referee's ability to properly officiate the relationship.

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Laviolette doesn't seem too anxious about Johansen either, although I have difficulty believing he's totally oblivious to his comments. "Oh no. Not at all". It means I'm doing my job.

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