Fresh off a 5-3 victory on Friday in Game 2 at the Honda Center, the Ducks entered enemy territory today without one of their top scorers, Bobby Ryan. Ryan, who scored two goals on Friday, was suspended for Games 3 and 4 for a “reckless and dangerous” play wherein he “accidentally” stomped on the top of the skate of Jonathan Blum. Ryan had 34 goals during the regular season and was greatly missed tonight as the Ducks only managed to put up 15 total shots in their Game 3 loss. Alternatively, Ray Emery, the former Flyer tending the net while Hiller is dizzy with vertigo, was forced to defend 37 shots by the Predators in this game.
The Ducks looked pretty apathetic in the first half of the game, taking four minor penalties and allowing two goals by the Preds. Martin Erat scored on Nashville’s first power play when Visnovsky whiffed in the goal crease. Less than 40 seconds later, Getzlaf turned the puck over in front of the net and Jordin Tootoo lit the lamp. Coach Carlyle tried a myriad of wingers to fill Ryan’s spot, but with five minutes remaining in the second period, the Ducks only had one shot on goal. In an attempt to spark his team to do something more, Captain Getzlaf dropped gloves with Mike Fisher while Mrs. Mike Fisher looked on from the stands. If he got through to no one else, so long as Getzlaf fired up The Finnish Flash, that was good enough. After an O’Brien elbowing penalty that gave the Ducks the power play, with less than two and a half minutes remaining, Selanne put two in the back of the net to end the half. Selanne has four goals in the series.
Putting the Preds back on their heels, the Ducks seemed to have woken up and started to play in the third. Answering David Legwand’s wrister to put the Pred’s ahead 3-2, Koivu hit Matt Beleskey with a puck that ricocheted off his skate and into the back of the net to tie the game. Unfortunately, however, the Ducks ran out of time as Fisher scored again halfway through the third and the Ducks ended the game fending off a Nashville power play on a Koivu penalty.
Kept in the game solely by Ray Emery’s 33 blocked shots, the Ducks will need to generate more offense in the next two games, if they want to stay in this series. With the Preds taking shots at Selanne and Perry, Getzlaf will need to get more involved in the offense as will others, like Fowler, who had two great shots on goal tonight.
Game four is on Wednesday at 5:30 still at the Bridgestone Arena and Game five will be back at home at the Honda Center at 7:00 with Bobby Ryan in the line up.
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Written by KARLY TAMBARA