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Predators edge Ducks, win series

Posted: April 28, 2016

For the first time in four years, the Predators will make a second-round appearance in the Stanley Cup playoffs after edging the Ducks 2-1 on Wednesday to win their first-round series in seven games.


"It's a big step," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "If you don't take this one step, you can't take any more steps. That makes this a really big night for our guys and our team. When you're faced with these situations, you're either going home or you're moving on and playing hockey and continuing (to) fight for the (Stanley) Cup. It was a big night."


The Predators have little time to bask in their victory. Their next series starts Friday in San Jose against the Sharks.



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Preds set to lay it all on the line

Posted: April 27, 2016

As children, wannabe hockey players fantasize about Game 7. They dream of the winner-take-all stakes, the finality that one goal can wield and the glory that it can lead to.

The majority of the Predators players have never experienced a Game 7 outside of their own imaginations. Nashville will play its first against Anaheim on Wednesday at Honda Center with an opportunity to advance to the second round for the first time in four years and the third time in team history.


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Neal scores winner to force Game 7

Posted: April 26, 2016

A series that began with great offensive flash for first-line Predators forward James Neal had turned into a drag for the last few games.

Neal scored his first goal of this Western Conference quarterfinal series just 35 seconds into the opening game against Anaheim. He was a terror for the rest of that contest as well, piling up nine shots on goal in a Nashville win.

But that was the last point Neal had posted through the first five games, one of the reasons the Predators trailed 3-2 heading into Game 6 on Wednesday.

With the Predators facing elimination, Neal — a 31-goal scorer during the regular season — responded just the way his team hoped, notching the game-winning goal and adding an assist on the clincher as Nashville downed the Ducks 3-1.


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Anaheim takes control of series with Game 5 win

Posted: April 23, 2016

 Adversity, in some form or another, is unavoidable during the playoffs. It inevitably shows up within a series or even during the course of a game, and how a team responds to that hardship is the ultimate test of its mettle.

That’s where the Predators are after Saturday’s 5-2 Game 5 loss to the Ducks. The franchise's first 2-0 series lead has turned into a 3-2 series deficit after three consecutive losses. The threat of elimination now hangs over Monday's Game 6 at Bridgestone Arena.

"You look at any team that's won the (Stanley) Cup, and it's never smooth sailing through the playoffs," said Predators center Ryan Johansen, who scored the game's first goal late in the second period. "Adversity is going to hit, and our backs are against the wall now."


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