The Predators will play the victor of the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators series starting Memorial Day on May 29.
It has become a tradition at the Nashville Predators games for a catfish to make its way onto the ice at some point, and Game 6 against the Anaheim Ducks proved to be no exception thanks to Taylor Lewan.
May 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators players celebrate on the bench late in the third period against the Anaheim Ducks in game six of the Western Conference Final of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. Vatanen drew assists on goals by Ondrej Kase (second of the playoffs) and Cam Fowler (also his second).
Pushing an up-tempo brand of hockey, Laviolette got Nashville back into the playoffs in his first season, into the second round in his second and into the first conference and Cup final for the franchise this spring.
The Predators, who've never won even a division title in their 19-year history, came in with the fewest points of any team in these playoffs.
The Ducks had a chance to take the lead when Roman Josi wristed the puck over the glass to earn a delay-of-game penalty with 8:03 remaining in the third. We had to play defense.
"If you look at it, I think they got more dirty goals than we did", Carlyle said of the Predators.
As it turned out, the Ducks didn't have a monopoly on resilience in the conference finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Laviolette joked that probably means he's been fired a lot. We didn't give them break-aways.
The teams that feel the most pain in the hockey playoffs also have less time to overcome it. Tonight the Penguins can closeout their series with the Senators with a Game 6 victory. Game 1 is Monday. He posted a less-than-impressive.906 save percentage in 14 games a year ago, including 12 goals against on 71 shots (.831) in the final three games of a second-round loss to San Jose.
But Anaheim kept the pressure on and cut the lead back to one just two minutes later with Chris Wagner getting the goal.
With the win the Predators beat the Ducks four games to two winning the Western Conference Final. We've been through some challenges together, and we stuck together no matter what.
Nashville made it 1-0 just 1:21 into the game on a goal from Austin Watson.
They have a high-energy coach, a true star in Filip Forsberg, a deep defensive group, and a crowd that is much a part of the show as the team. Rinne, who was selected in 2004 with the final pick of the eighth round in an NHL Draft that now only has seven rounds, stayed hot, making 38 saves in the win.
Ondrej Kase scored his second career goal - both in this series - giving Anaheim a chance to tie the National Hockey League record with a fifth rally when trailing by multiple goals.
But the Anaheim fightback was the cue for a decisive burst of scoring that began when Sissons smashed in a one-timer from the left circle after good work by Calle Jarnkrok.
The Finn had two special seasons (2010-2012) early in his career with Nashville - a Vezina trophy finalist in each - but was something closer to average after that. And the 6-foot-5 Finn used his big body to turn away shot after shot even with the Ducks trying to crash the net every opportunity. But obviously that was a big one.