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.