Stanley Cup playoffs: Ducks top Predators in OT to tie series

Ecstatic Predators fans pour into the street after Tuesday night’s 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks

The Anaheim Ducks evened their Western Conference Final series against the Nashville Predators with a 3-2 overtime win in Game 4 Thursday night.

A victory would have given the Predators a commanding lead in the series, putting them one win away from a berth in the Stanley Cup Final. The Predators won 2-1. The Anaheim Ducks ended up winning 3-2 in overtime on a pretty weird one in their own right. With the veteran team the Ducks have you should expect them to come out hard and take over the first part of the game.

But Corey Perry and the Ducks ruined the Predators' comeback hopes.

Rinne didn't have to do much in this one, but his 19-save performance brought his statistics at home this postseason to a 1.12 goals-against average and a.958 save percentage in six starts.

Game 5 is scheduled for Saturday in Anaheim at 7:15 p.m. ET. This is the time to go for Pittsburgh's metaphorical throat and see what happens. Nashville also had an advantage in hits and faceoffs won in Game 3.

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If the ice was tilted, some credit has to go to the roiling sea of yellow helicoptering towels and screaming its heads off every night. The Predators are just the 10th team to win at least 10 straight at home in the playoffs since the National Hockey League expanded in 1967-68. But on the bench and in their locker room before overtime the Ducks remained unruffled, completely confident.

Nashville started this a year ago against these very same Ducks. Anaheim desperately needed a win in Game 4, especially being down 2-1 in the series. It's tough. They're a good team. The goal was set up by Nashville's inability to convert a breakout pass from behind its net.

Perry's shot redirected off Nashville's P.K. Subban and past goalie Pekka Rinne at Bridgestone Arena.

"It was just a tough break". Roman Josi then snapped the tie and scored the game-winner with 2:43 to play. "And it's just, the fans that are unbelievable".

The Ducks should never have been in that overtime, season-on-the-brink situation. Game coverage on the Predators Radio Network at 7pm with the Voice of the Predators, Pete Weber. But rather than bag-skate the team or drill the players to death in what they did wrong, he chose to give them the day off. They obviously feel like they have the players and the speed to do that. The Predators are averaging 2.9 goals per game and are scoring on 18.9 percent of their power play opportunities.

The snarling canine, whose name is Stanley, was coach Peter Laviolette's idea.

If anything, this just backs up my theory that you can take the man out of Morgantown, but you can't take Morgantown out of the man.

"Now we're looking forward to the intensity ramping up for the second game at home", Subban said.