Game 4 - First Period
Wednesday, 04.20.2011 / 5:55 PM
By Jay Levin - Nashville Predators / Playoff Blog -- Conference Quarterfinals vs. Anaheim
Thoughts and views from the first period of play at Bridgestone Arena...
- Very strong start by the Anaheim Ducks. Getzlaf had the game's first scoring chance around 35 seconds into the period. Shea Weber cleared a puck off the goal line 3:10 into the game after Rinne made the inital save and puck started to trickle toward the far post.
- Ducks drew the first power-play of the game and converted --- from his body language Shane O'Brien opined that Todd Marchant took a dive on the play to get the benefit of the call. The Preds did a pretty good job early in the PK, but had two chances at easy clears on the sequence before Anahaim scored and failed to get the puck out of the zone both times.
- Anaheim answered with their second goal 33 seconds later --- eerily similar to Game 2 --- an even strength goal off good pressure.
- Barry Trotz used his timeout after the second Ducks goal and the move paid off --- Patric Hornqvist answered on the next shift to get the Preds on the board. Cross ice post-to-post pass by Kostitsyn to Hornqvist for the easy tap-in. Very similar play to both the Fisher and Legwand third period goals from Game 3. The majority of Nashville's goals against Emery have come courtesy of similar plays; move the puck across the crease and he hasn't been able to slide side-to-side quick enough to recover.
- A pair of big saves for Rinne on Anaheim's second power-play -- he robbed Teemu Selanne early and made a big save on Jason Blake as the penalty expired.
- The Erat-Legwand-Ward line drew Nashville's first power-play. They combined for three goals and seven points in the first three games of the series, but that line has also been responsible for drawing the majority of Nashville's PP opps through the first 10 periods of the series. The Preds generated three high quality scoring chances on the PP, but just missed knotting the score --- the closest may have been a backdoor feed to Suter, but the pass just missed (he would have had an empty net tap in).
- The Fisher-Hornqvist-Kostitsyn line has been Nashville's most dangerous line again tonight. Not only did they net the Preds goal and create the team's best chances on the power-play opportunity, they very nearly tied the game as the final minute of play announcement was being made -- Hornqvist's shot produced a big rebound and Kostitsyn chipped the puck over Emery, but Anaheim's defense was able to tip it away from the net.
- Strong first period for Anaheim forward Jason Blake -- he's been a factor five-on-five and on the power-play. He entered the game without a point -- and with just seven shots on goal -- through the first three games of the series.