Vatanen finally converted for Anaheim, doing so in the first period after the Predators jumped out to an early 2-0 lead.
Sweden's Jakob Silfverberg, Sami Vatanen, Ondrej Kase and Antoine Vermette, into an empty net, also scored for the Ducks, who avoided going into an 0-2 hole for the second straight series with the win.
(AP Photo/Chris Carlson). Nashville Predators James Neal, left, celebrates after scoring against the Anaheim Ducks off an assist by defenseman P.K. Subban, right, in overtime of Game 1 in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals, Friday, Ma.
Perry's score came from just below the Nashville goal line, rifling a shot off Rinne's skate and into the net.
John Gibson (8-4, 2.79 GAA, .911 SV%) shook off a rough start in Game 2 to make 30 saves.
Corey Perry soothed any agitated Ducks fans at the 15:35 mark when he gave Anaheim the lead on the power play.
Filip Forsberg put Nashville back up seven minutes later, but as they did before, the Ducks rallied again, this time with back-to-back goals from two 21-year-olds whom head coach Randy Carlyle moved up in the lineup after the poor start.
"That's where the secondary guys have to take pride in pushing themselves to get that extra step to score goals that could be a difference". As the physical play between the two exponentially increased in the second and third periods, it pushed Johansen over the edge. I thought that we created a lot, and eventually we were going to get one by him. It's not often you see one of Nashville's top players decide to go full bore and address it with the media afterwards, but here we are.
Rinne allowed a playoff-high four goals on 26 shots.
"So I just closed my eyes and shot it in there", Vatanen said with his usual Finnish deadpan delivery.
Making the night even more nerve-racking and intense, the Preds faced two disallowed goals coming just eight seconds apart from each other just a few minutes after Forsberg's goal.
"We did a good job", Josi said.
Game 3 is in Nashville on Tuesday.
It's one of hockey's Original Six clichés for goal-scorers, who get as much credit for the pucks that go in off the back of their trousers as the ones they snipe top shelf.
Evidently, the pitched fish was meant to carry on a Nashville Predators tradition, although it also allowed the Ducks, at the start, to be only the second most-dead thing inside Honda Center.
After all, this was Game 2 of a best-of-seven series.
"He just blows my mind", said Johansen to media members after Game 2.
We are right in the middle of the Conference Finals in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs and in this week's column, I'll be taking a look at how each series has played out to this point and what we can use moving forward to cash some playoff tickets on the ice.
They have made the most of the opportunities they've had to play at home, though.
That's how important depth is in the National Hockey League postseason, Kase, a 21-year-old from the Czech Republic in just his fifth career playoff game, coming through after replacing long-time Ducks staple Corey Perry. Ron Hainsey hit the crossbar early and Patric Hornqvist dinged the left post but that's as close as Pittsburgh would get to slipping one by Anderson.
Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that Gibson is getting better as the pressure mounts.
It was so just barely, in fact, that Kase didn't even recognize this shining moment of his career as it happened in real time.