A couple of minutes later, Anaheim's Nick Rictchie took a needless interference penalty for a late hit and Nashville made it 2-0 when Johansen found James Neal for one of the easiest goals he has probably ever scored.

Roman Josi's third-period goal capped off a 2-1 comeback victory Tuesday night for the Nashville Predators against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final.

Laviolette admitted however that he had wondered if the Ducks would be able to defend their lead after watching Gibson's display in goal.

The Nashville Predators are now two wins away from their first trip to the Stanley Cup finals. The night the Predators came back from a third period deficit to reclaim a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference Final.

"It shows a lot of character", Rinne said. "They're not going to give you anything but we worked hard to get our chances and we've got to bury them when we get them".

"We know how important these games are", Carlyle said, "and every one gets more important as we go forward".

Just two days after surviving Edmonton, the Ducks had to face Nashville in an early-starting game - and they were promptly outskated and outclassed for long stretches by the well-rested Predators.

"I think the guys will be fine", he said. "It's a great sign for a team".

Heading into the game, the most of the talk was about the ongoing battle between Ryan Johansen and Kesler, whose on-ice feud had spilled into a war of words off the ice. His mental lapse on the final goal put a damper on an otherwise excellent performance that kept the Ducks in game three.

As good as the Ryan trade is now for Ottawa, it has been superb for Anaheim as Silfverberg had 18 points in the 2015 postseason and this year is tied with captain Ryan Getzlaf for the team lead in goals with eight, one behind Pittsburgh's Jake Guentzel for the most in the playoffs.

"Obviously, it seemed like he was a bit rattled, so I'm going to go out and play my game like I always do", Kesler said. There's a real good chance he does so, but it won't be because Johansen isn't willing to go up against Kesler.

Even Predators forward Filip Forsberg, who has never been confused with, say, Claude Lemieux, snuck in a stick to the groin of the Ducks' Jacob Silfverberg just before the second period ended. Ritchie released his shot just off the left half wall and even with the left circle.

"No guy will use that as an excuse", said center Nate Thompson, who won the faceoff that led to Lindholm's tying goal.

"Moving him up and down in our lineup gives us some flexibility", Carlyle said. In Game 2, he finally broke out in a big way. Anaheim and Nashville are meeting in the postseason for the third time, including the past two seasons.

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. "It was their first game in a while".

Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that Gibson is getting better as the pressure mounts. That's not where you want to be after two games. We have celebrated hat tricks with some of our players in the past.

NOTES: Anaheim remained without two key injured veterans. Nashville RW Craig Smith missed his third straight game due to an undisclosed injury.

The Predators are undefeated at home during this playoffs run withTuesday's game marking their tenth consecutive postseason home game win including last year's run. A 6 p.m. local start time combined with Southern California's legendarily bad Friday traffic to leave thousands of empty seats in Honda Center at the opening faceoff. The home team is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings, the under is 2-0-3 in the last 5 meetings in Nashville and the over is 21-7-9 in the last 37 meetings.


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