The Anaheim Ducks’ horrors at home in Game 7s continued Wednesday as the Nashville Predators posted a 2-1 victory at Honda Center to eliminate the Pacific Division champions and advance to the Western Conference semifinals.
Colin Wilson and Paul Gaustad scored first-period goals for the Predators, who will face the San Jose Sharks in the second round. Game 1 will take place on Friday in San Jose.
It was yet another disappointing ending to a strong season for the Ducks, who have won the Pacific each of the last four campaigns, only to lose a Game 7 on their own ice in the ensuing postseason. To make matters worse, Anaheim held a 3-2 series lead on all four occasions.
Pekka Rinne turned aside 36 shots for Nashville, allowing only Ryan Kesler’s fourth goal of the series less than two minutes into the third period. The Predators move on to the conference semifinals for just the third time in franchise history and first since 2012, when they lost in five games to the then-Phoenix Coyotes.
Nashville would like to see its power play begin to click after the club went 1-for-26 against the Ducks. But the Predators would appear to have the upper hand against the Sharks as they won three of their four games in Anaheim while San Jose struggled at home during the regular season at 18-20-3 and split its two first-round contests against the Los Angeles Kings at SAP Center.