NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Ducks and Predators picked up right where they left off in last season’s Western Conference Finals.
Kevin Fiala and Kyle Turris scored in the shootout, leading Nashville over Anaheim 3-2 on Saturday night in a physical rematch of that playoff showdown.
Nashville won the series in six games, but the energy carried into Saturday. There were 12 penalties in the game, including six for roughing, one for cross-checking and five-minute majors for Nashville’s Cody McLeod and Anaheim’s Josh Manson.
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”There’s an intensity,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. ”There’s a physicality that goes with it.
”They’re a competitive team and they play hard even with some big pieces out. They played a hard-fought game tonight, probably harder than we were thinking it might be in the beginning.”
Adam Henrique got his first goal since being traded to Anaheim on Thursday, and Cam Fowler also scored for the Ducks. Fiala and Calle Jarnkrok scored for Nashville.
Jarnkrok filled in on the power play for Ryan Johansen and scored the tying goal at 11:17 of the third. Johansen left the game in the first period with an unspecified injury and did not return.
”I played some last year and I’m pretty used to it,” Jarnkrok said of the power play. ”It’s not that hard to get into.”
Fowler scored at 5:01 of the third when he skated past the blue line into the slot and fired a wrist shot past Pekka Rinne for a 2-1 lead.
Nashville has allowed 15 third-period goals in its last nine games, and Rinne said it is a concern for the team.
”This year we have given up a lot of goals and late leads in the third period and been lucky to win games in overtime and shootouts,” Rinne said. ”We have talked about it a lot.
”We really have to pay attention in the third period and keep going and keep attacking with the forecheck. I feel like that is our strength.”
Rinne stopped 33 of 35 shots. Miller made 33 saves.
”I thought we battled pretty hard,” Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. ”I thought the game was played pretty much on an even balance. It was a game that was physically challenging for both hockey clubs. We have to take the point and move on.”
Fiala made it 1-0 exactly eight minutes into the second, going top shelf to beat Miller. Colton Sissons passed the puck to Fiala from in front of the net to set up the power-play goal.
Henrique tied it at 12:44 of the second period with a shot from the slot on the power play. It was his fifth this season and first since New Jersey traded him away.
NOTES: Nashville has scored at least one power-play goal in 13 consecutive games, extending a franchise record, and has scored a power-play goal in every home game this season. … This was the fifth set of back-to-backs for Anaheim this season. … Anaheim is 4-3-3 in back-to-backs and 2-0-3 in second games. … Henrique has two points in his first two games for Anaheim, including an assist in his debut at Columbus. … Fowler assisted on Henrique’s goal and has points in three straight games and four of his last five.