Predators advance to Round 2
ANAHEIM, CALIF. >> Colin Wilson and Paul Gaustad scored in the first period and the Nashville Predators hung on to win the franchise's first Game 7, advancing to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.
Pekka Rinne made 36 saves for the wild-card Predators, who rallied from a 3-2 series deficit and ousted the Pacific Division champion Ducks with a gritty road victory. Nashville earned just the third playoff series victory in team history — the first since 2012, and the second over Anaheim.
Nashville will travel up the California coast to face the San Jose Sharks on Friday night.
For the fourth consecutive season, the Ducks blew a 3-2 series lead and lost a Game 7 at home.
Frederik Andersen made 18 saves and Ryan Kesler scored a power-play goal early in the third period for the Ducks. They had numerous late chances to tie it while largely dominating the final two periods, but a redirected shot clanked off the post in the final minutes, and nothing went in during a frantic final minute.
This season's playoff collapse included three losses on home ice. Bruce Boudreau dropped to 1-7 in seventh games in his NHL coaching career, including six consecutive losses in Anaheim and Washington.
Corey Perry didn't score a goal in the seven-game series, and the former NHL MVP missed an open net for a tying goal in the third period. He finished with a minus-7 rating for the Ducks, who didn't score an even-strength goal in the final two games.
ISLANDERS 5, LIGHTNING 3
Shane Prince scored twice during a three-goal first period and John Tavares had a goal and an assist in New York's victory over Tampa Bay in Game 1 of the second-round playoff series.
Taking up where he left off in helping the Islanders advance beyond the first round for the first time in 23 years, Tavares assisted on Travis Hamonic's goal that erased an early deficit and scored his sixth postseason goal on a blistering shot from the left circle to give New York a 4-1 lead in the second.
The Islanders needed overtime to get three of four victories against the Florida Panthers in the opening round. This one was never seriously in doubt after New York wiped out the 1-0 lead Tampa Bay took on Ondrel Palat's goal just over three minutes into the game.
Tampa Bay pulled to 4-3 on third-period goals by Nikita Kucherov and Valtteri Filppula before Cal Clutterbuck's empty-netter sealed the victory in the final minute.
Thomas Greiss, who won one game in overtime and two in double overtime against Florida, finished with 33 saves for the Islanders. They were outshot 28-10 over the last two periods.
Game 2 is Saturday at Amalie Arena.
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