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Marcus Mariota, Titans start Predators Game 3 in style

17 May 2017

When the score was 1:1 in the final series of the Western conference moved to the "Bridgestone Arena" in Nashville.

Nashville had two potential goals waved off in a span of eight seconds, both denied by goaltender interference.

At least the fans had Southern California's murderous Friday afternoon traffic as a good excuse. "I think they believed they were playing a decent game and if we just stayed with it, that we'd eventually get one to drop and then see where it goes from there. It's something we're used to, and I think we'll bounce back the right way". Unfortunately, it's kind of their thing. "What a rink", said Nashville's James Neal, after a 2-1 win where his team might have been turned away had the crowd not pushed them to keep overcoming the bad breaks.

If the Anaheim Ducks thought they had taken control of the Western Conference finals after dropping five goals on the Nashville Predators on Sunday, they thought wrong. The Ducks have won three of five meetings with Nashville this season. They are, after all, the last visiting team to win a playoff game there, doing it twice last spring, although they still lost the first-round series in seven games.

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The Ducks do nearly nothing easily. He bounced back with a far better effort in Game 3, but there were still some close calls, like when the Ducks cleared the puck the length of the ice and it almost skipped over Rinnes pads at the last moment. "What happens is that the team starts developing a real identity and starts feeling really good about themselves and that's what you saw at the end".

"You see these elderly women out there with a sledge hammer taking a pounding at a auto that's got a Ducks logo on it", Carlyle said.

This was the night the Nashville Predators grew up, the moment they showed enough perseverance and maturity to forever shed their reputation as being a nice little team that always lacked some ingredient necessary for success in the rugged environment of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

"Nashville" could not bring matters to a comeback in the final period, if not the goalkeeper of "Anaheim" Gibson, who had 40 times to enter the game.

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"We look at him as a guy that still has room to grow on the offensive side of it because he can shoot the puck", said the Anaheim bench boss. "It gave them a lot of momentum and sucked the life out of us, so we need to make sure that we turn that around (in Game 2)". While Neal scored the victor, he was only open to score on P.K. Subban's pass because the defenceman froze the entire Anaheim defence with a picture-perfect shot fake. "So I don't know who is counting the shots". "(Neal) did a good job getting open".

As the Predators realized, the Ducks had more than one agitator capable of knocking opponents off their game.

While the injury-riddled Ducks are attempting to thrive with six defencemen under 26 years old, Nashville's top four defencemen are the high-scoring backbone of its roster.

Gibson was helpless on the game victor, which was set up when a shot by Ekholm hit teammate Viktor Arvidsson and caromed to Josi in the right circle.

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It was something else Tuesday night.