It was his first shutout of the 2017 playoffs, and the ninth he's earned all-time during his postseason career. But now that they're actually happening, let's talk about what to expect in both series, including players to watch and my prediction of who advances. "Our system allows us to jump up in the play, and the forwards do a great job of getting pucks to us". That means they were the first coaches to figure out how to succeed with rules changes meant to open up the game. 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. Their fans have assisted in their run and they'll be extra hyped when the series turns to Nashville for Game 3.
It doesn't take a betting genius to know the Washington Capitals will be the favorites in the first game of the night.
Anaheim will need to contain the defensemen of Nashville, who have been red-hot in the postseason. Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi each have four goals, tied for the most among blueliners, and P.K. Subban has six assists, most in the Western Conference. The 21-year-old power forward wasn't around for any of the Anaheim Ducks' agonizing Game 7 defeats over the past four seasons. Cogliano ended a personal 13-game playoff goal drought for the speedy ex-Oilers forward who hasn't missed a game in his entire 10-year National Hockey League career. If it wasn't for their unbelievable comeback in Game 5 against Edmonton, they might not be here. He has only scored once himself in the playoffs, but his best work was done in the defensive end in keeping Connor McDavid in check.
Vernon Fiddler, Nashville: Battling injuries, but has been a significant player when he's on the ice.
Ryan Getzlaf is carrying the Anaheim offense through the 2017 playoffs.
"I have nothing but good things to say about this team".
Also, they had more blocks 19, to the Oilers 11.
Been there, done that: Nashville's Peter Laviolette is not the only coach in this series with his name on the Stanley Cup.
The question is, will the retreat feel more like a wake should the Ducks trail three games to none - or will Sunday give them a glimmer of hope?
These two teams faced each other last postseason in the first round and Nashville came out victorious after a win in Game 7.
As mentioned before, perhaps the only weakness the Predators have is their inexperience in the late rounds of the playoffs. "To have them at the same time is hard".
Anaheim's quick turnaround begins Friday night with Game 1 against their new opponent, the Nashville Predators, who have been waiting patiently for what seems like weeks. Marc-Andre Fleury is playing out of his mind. They did win a few categories. Rather than always setting up a system, they really like to get shots off as fast as they can. Their ability to come through victorious in tight contests throughout this postseason could give them some much-needed experience of how to play in those situations. By leading the Predators this far, Laviolette became the first American-born coach to guide three different teams to a conference final.
The Penguins' defense has been spectacular and their goaltending has been even better.
Under is 10-2-5 in Predators last 17 vs. a team with a winning record. Defensively, the Pens have the advantage, however, Ottawa can lock it down as well and Craig Anderson has been no slouch between the pipes. Erik Karlsson is playing like the generational talent that he is.