Pekka Rinne stopped 38-of-41 shots-faced during Monday’s 6-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in game-six of the Western Conference Finals. The Nashville Predators clinched the best-of-seven-game series and advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history.
To put things in proper perspective, at the end of three periods Anaheim had 41 shots-on-goal with three goals to show for it. Nashville, on the other hand, was credited with 18 shots-on-goal and six goals. Rinne has truly embodied his “Great Wall of Finland” moniker by improving and showing stout confidence in each round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Nashville net-minder has been with no other team in the NHL since he was drafted by the Predators with the 258th overall pick in 2004. For the 2016-17 playoffs: Rinne holds a 12-4 record, a 1.70 goals-against-average, and a .941 save-percentage. Of 474 total shots-against, Rinne has made 446 saves, allowing a minuscule 28 goals through 16 playoff games thus far.
Vatanen initiated the play late in the second period that saw Corey Perry score for the Ducks to take the lead.Vatanen has 3 points in 9 games, but all three in his last four games.
Perry scored his first point in the series on his birthday, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to come out victorious. He banked in a shot off of a slightly cheating Pekka Rinne on the powerplay.Perry has 3 goals and 10 points in 14 games, but will nedd to up his production for his team to advance to the Finals.
Gibson answered the doubters yet again in Game 3. Apart from a tough start in Game 2, he has been simply amazing and it’s only thanks to the lack of some extra effort from his teammates that he hasn’t stolen either one of Games 1 or 3.One can easily make the argument that Gibson has outplayed Pekka Rinne in the series not just overall, but each game separately as well. Look for Gibson to make the same kind of effort going forward.
Rakell dangled and deked with the puck, entered the zone and dished it sideways to Corey Perry, whos scored from a tough angle.Rakell has 12 points in 14 games.
Neither Fleury, nor Anderson was willing to give up a goal until late into the third period and none of them wanted to be the goat in a sudden death situation. That somewhat turned out to be Anderson as Kessel’s quick second attempt beat him low before he could get set, with barely 7 minutes left to play in the game. Pittsburgh secured the shutout for Fleaury after.It’s the second shutout in 3 games for Fleury who needed to be in top of his game amidst the Pens recent scoring woes. They also lost Bryan Rust and Justin Schultz to injuries, none of whom returned to the game.
Malkin slowly moved up the ice along the boards but in a scoreless tie late in the third period, his presence was enough to draw two defenders. Right upon carrying the puck over the blueline he sent it to a streaking Phil Kessel down the middle, who scored after collecting his own rebound from a block.Malkin leads the league in playoff scoring with 20 points.
With seven minutes remaining in the game Kessel received the puck in stride from center Evgeni Malkin, took his shot that was blocked by J-G Pageau but fell right back to him and his second attempt found the way next to the mammoth of a still re-setting Craig Anderson. Pittsburgh managed to protect it’s narrow lead and the goal became the game-winner.Kessel is at a point-per-game rate with 14 points in as many games.
Maatta gave the puck to Evgeni Malkin in his own zone and then watched history being made.Maatta recorded his 5th point in 14 games.
Gibson had a real shaky start and at times seemed to be bothered or injured, because he was slow with his movement and off with his positioning. However, he collected himself and after he was badly beaten with a wraparound by Viktor Arvidsson, he came up with some real quality saves and shut it down for the remainder of the game. Gibson has the best SV% when his team is holding a lead. His play was questioned before the series, especially compared to Pekka Rinne, but overall, Gibson has actually outplayed Rinne in both Game 1 and Game 2.
Theodore got back onto the scoreboard after personally being shut out the last five games. His shot went through a humanity of people but ended up being saved and deflected, right onto the tape of teammate Ondrej Kase, who squeezed it in, just barely over the goal line to tie the game at 3.Theodore still has 8 point (2G+6A) in 13 games with a +1 rating and leads the Ducks defense in scoring.
Ritchie the big boy came up huge again, as another of his hard shots went through the opposition goalie at the perfect time and ended up being the game-winning goal. He realeased the puck from along the right boards after some nifty passing on the rush by Montour and Getzlaf.Ritchie has 3 goals with no assists in 11 games, but 2 of those 3 were game-winners. He’ll continue to push hard for his first line LW spot.
Manson set up a Shea Theodore shot through traffic that ended up on Ondrej Kase’s stick, who put it in through a scramble in the crease.Manson is yet to score, although he certainly has had some looks and chances, but his defensive presence, size and hits have been felt by everyone on the ice. He looks to add to his 3 assists against the Preds.
Montour initiated a quick rush up ice, his outlet pass was ever so gently tipped by Ryan Getzlaf and Nick Ritchie shot bullseye right after.Montour has 6 assists in 13 games (4 in his last 7) with no goals but a very good +11 rating.
Fowler played a team and game high 25:37 and registered two assists, one for a keep in ahead of the Silvferberg goal and another for chipping the puck to Ryan Getzlaf prior to the empty-netter.Fowler has played fast and strong since coming back from injury in the second round and has a goal and 6 assists for 7 points in 9 playoff games.