Friday, April 22, 2011
Ducks: Predators score first for 1-0 lead
By Dan Arritt
Western Conference quarterfinal
Game 5 (Series tied, 2-2)
After the 1st period:
Nashville Predators 1, Ducks 0
The good: Ducks goalkeeper Ray Emery kept the score close in the opening period, stopping nine-of-10 shots, including a couple real good looks by the Predators. The team that has scored the first goal in the previous four games of the series has also scored the second, so Emery has avoided that trend, for now. The Ducks out-hit the Predators, 9-1, in the opening seven minutes, so they definitely set the tone. With just one power play in the opening period, the referees appear to be letting them play, which should favor the Ducks as the game continues.
The bad: The team that has scored first has also won every game of the series. The Predators did the honors in the opening period as a Ducks defenseman Andreas Lilja turned the puck over in the offensive zone, leading to a 2-on-1 going the other way. Jordin Tootoo carried the puck with teammate Kevin Klein to his right and Luca Sbisa defending. Tootoo faked a pass to Klein, causing Sbisa to go to the ice in an attempt to break it up, but Tootoo held the puck an instant longer and then slid it to Klein who was just outside the crease by then. Klein got enough of the rubber to redirect it into the net 8 ˝ minutes into the game. The Ducks looked like they’d go on the power in the opening two minutes when Teemu Selanne appeared to get tripped from behind by Nashville defenseman Jonathon Blum as he cut into the offensive zone a stride ahead of the defense, but it went as a no call. When the Ducks did go on the power play with about six minutes left, they did absolutely nothing with it. They were out-shot in the period, 10-6.
The in between: Ducks fourth-line enforcer George Parros might have had the best scoring chance of the period. With about 2 ˝ minutes left, he got on a shift with top-line center Ryan Getzlaf, who stole the puck in the offensive zone and flicked a backhand off the chest of Pekka Rinne. Parros was right there for the rebound but whiffed. The crowd would have blown the roof off Honda Center if Parros puts that one away.