Michael Finewax

Hockey Daily Dose

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Dose: Music City Miracle Two

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


 

First there was Saturday January 8, 2000. Now there is some competition for it on May 22, 2017.

 

The Tennessee Titans performed a miracle on the second Saturday in the year 2000 when they scored a touchdown with no time remaining to beat Buffalo in the playoffs after the Bills scored with only 16 seconds left in the game to take the lead.

 

Well, on Monday night, in front of a packed house of crazed Predator fans, Nashville defeated the Anaheim Ducks despite being totally outplayed and booked themselves a spot in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time.

 

Let's call it 'The Music City Miracle II'.

 

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NASHVILLE 6 ANAHEIM 3

 

With only 2:30 left in the third period, the Predators were up 4-3 despite being outshot 41-16 and totally outplayed.

 

If it wasn't for the outstanding effort of Pekka Rinne in the Nashville cage and the scoring feats of Colton Sissons, the series would be heading back to Anaheim for a Game 7.  Instead, the Ducks were forced to pull goaltender Jonathan Bernier and the Predators found the empty net twice to pull away and send the crowd into a frenzy.

 

The Predators got things started early with a couple of goals before the halfway mark of the first period as Austin Watson and Sissons found paydirt. The Predators scored on two of their first three shots and it looked like it was going to be a blowout when Nick Ritchie took a five minute major and game misconduct for boarding Viktor Arvidsson.

 

But the Ducks seemed to take over the game at that stage as Nashville failed to get a shot on goal during the five minute power play while Anaheim managed a couple on Rinne.

 

When the Ducks returned to even strength, coach Randy Carlyle needed to replace Ritchie on the top line with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf and did so with Ondrej Kase.

 

While the first period ended with the Ducks down by a pair, Kase rewarded Carlyle at the 4:45 mark of the second as he cut the lead in half when Getzlaf found him in front of the wide open net and he made no mistake in giving the Ducks their first goal of the game.

 

The score remained the same into the third when Sissons was credited with the Predators third goal of the game, three minutes into the period.

 

But the Ducks would not give up and they scored twice to tie the game while totally carrying the play.

 

First it was Chris Wagner five minutes after Sissons goal and then Cam Fowler's point shot beat Rinne to tie it up.

 

Rinne was sensational time-and-time again all game, as he turned aside waves of shots by the Ducks.

 

Sissons completed his first playoff hat trick at the 14:00 mark of the third as he one-timed a beautiful pass from Calle Jarnkrok to give the Predators the lead once again at 4-3.

 

The Ducks threatened again and again at pulled Bernier with 2:32 left but Filip Forsberg and Watson with his second of the game, scored into the empty net to secure the victory and send the Preds to the Cup Final.

 

Sissons was taken in the second round in the 2012 Draft, 50th overall. Many had him going late in the  first round or early in the second but he dropped to the Predators and there are not too many people in Nashville complaining tonight.

 

Sissons was a plus-five in the game while Ryan Kesler and Jakob Silfverberg were each a minus-four.

 

Pontus Aberg had a pair of assists while Watson had six blocked shots in addition to his pair of goals.

 

So the Predators who were the eighth seed in the Western Conference, will await the winner of the Pittsburgh-Ottawa series and the one big question is who will sing the anthem for Game 3 when Nashville will host their first ever Stanley Cup Final game. The guessing here is Carrie Underwood.



Michael Finewax is entering his 13th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.
Email :Michael Finewax



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