Published April 20, 2011
| Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Corey Perry's short-handed goal at 1:17 of the third period put Anaheim ahead to stay and the Ducks beat the Nashville Predators 6-3 on Wednesday night to tie the first-round series 2-2.
Game 5 is Friday night in Anaheim, with Ducks forward Bobby Ryan set to return from a two-game suspension.
Perry also had two assists. Cam Fowler had a power-play goal and had an assist, and Ryan Getzlaf, Brandon McMillan, Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu added goals.
Patric Hornqvist, Joel Ward and Matt Halischuck scored for Nashville, which blew a chance for its first ever 3-1 series lead.
The Ducks blew open a tight game with three goals in the first 6:46 of the third, starting with Perry's backhander past goalie Pekka Rinne from the right circle. Perry set up Getzlaf's goal at 4:51, and McMillan chased Rinne with his goal.
Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle made some changes in his lineup, scratching Brad Winchester, Kyle Palmieri and Sheldon Brookbank among others. He played defenseman Andy Sutton for the first time this series and left wing Jarkko Ruutu, who had been scratched in Game 3.
The Ducks opened up with a flurry, taking the first eight shots of the game and going up 2-0 after Shane O'Brien went to the penalty box for boarding Todd Marchant. Fowler scored his first postseason on a slap shot at 4:41, and Koivu scored his first this postseason 33 seconds later as he tapped in a rebound of Jason Blake's shot.
Nashville coach Barry Trotz took his timeout, and his Predators responded with a goal off their first shot 31 seconds later. Captain Shea Weber started the play deep in defensive zone, and Sergei Kostitsyn had a nice cross-ice pass to Hornqvist who easily beat Ray Emery to pull to 2-1 at 5:45.
Rinne kept the Predators in the game in the first, especially killing a second penalty by stopping Getzlaf, Selanne, Blake and Nick Bonino. When he made the final stop, the crowd gave him a standing ovation.
The Predators lost Martin Erat, who lost four teeth in Game 2, early in the second after a collision with Ruutu near the Predators' bench.
Erat went down immediately and lay on the ice for a few minutes before slowly rising with help. He went straight to the locker room and did not return with what was called an upper body injury. Ruutu was sent to the box for interference. The minor penalty infuriated the sold-out crowd, which wanted a harsher penalty.
Ward scored at 5:46 to tie it at 2.
Anaheim got the man advantage for 4 minutes when Ward drew a double minor for high-sticking Jason Blake at the net, drawing blood. But the Ducks didn't take a shot for the first 1:07, so Carlyle took his timeout. It worked in Game 2 with two quick goals.
Selanne tapped in the puck with 18 seconds left with the man advantage for the 3-2 lead with 8:19 left. Halischuk tied it for the last time for Nashville off a turnover by Sbisa with a backdoor tap-in with 5:45 left.
NOTES: The Ducks outshot Nashville, 38-22, for the first time in the series. ... Selanne has scored four of his five goals in this series on the power play. ... The Ducks improved to 12-6 in Game 4s. ... Nashville brought the star power for this game with Jo Dee Messina singing the anthem and Vince Gill singing at the first intermission. He was joined for a song by Carrie Underwood, wife of Nashville center Mike Fisher. Country singer John Rich also was in the crowd.