Published: Tue, June 06, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Predators reach 1st Stanley Cup Final, oust Ducks in 6 games

Predators reach 1st Stanley Cup Final, oust Ducks in 6 games

Tim McGraw's "I Like it, I Love it" cascaded down from the rafters at Bridgestone Arena late in the third period Monday night while Predators fans celebrated Colton Sissons's hat trick and eventual game-winning goal.

The Nashville Predators now await the victor of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference Finals to see who they will face Monday night in their first-ever Stanley Cup Finals appearance. Just 1:21 into the game, Nashville's first shot, a sharp-angle attempt thrown toward the net by Austin Watson, went in to get the scoring started. Ondrej Kase's second career goal, both coming in this series, cut the Anaheim deficit in half.

If Nashville goes on to win the Stanley Cup this postseason, the Predators will owe a huge part of their success to the 6-foot-5 Finnish sensation who resides in between the team's pipes. The Penguins hold a 3-2 lead going into Tuesday's Game 6 in Ottawa.

Monday's win lifted a massive monkey off the back of Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne.

The Predators, who've never won even a division title in their 19-year history, came in with the fewest points of any team in these playoffs. Her husband is Team Captain Mike Fisher.

While the cheering hugging took place in the stands and all around the state of Tennessee, the crowd are still not satisfied, as they chanted "we want the cup" as the team stood around (but didn't touch) the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl. "There is so much confidence in this dressing room in what we can accomplish together if we play the right way".

This spring, with the worst record of the 16 playoff teams, the Preds have advanced to the first Stanley Cup final in team history.

"A lot of guys are playing with a lot of stuff and those are the guys I'm proud of, getting shot up to play and they're putting it on the line", Cogliano said. "And when that time comes, we'll be ready". Tonight the Penguins can closeout their series with the Senators with a Game 6 victory. But Carlyle said that during Monday's morning skate Gibson "basically indicated to us he was not available".

Cam Fowler tied it up at 3 at 8:52 of the third for Anaheim as the Ducks tried to rally for the fifth time this season when trailing by multiple goals.

The Predators scored two goals on their first three shots, and then built a 3-1 lead, only to lose it in the third period. The Ducks failed to capitalize, which made them 2-for-18 with the man advantage in the series, and Sissons completed his hat trick by notching the series-clinching goal just three seconds after Josi left the box. We just believe in ourselves.

Nashville dominated the exhausted Ducks, and Forsberg forced a turnover on a forecheck before tipping Matt Irwin's shot through Gibson for his fourth goal.

Goalie Pekka Rinne also had another strong night for Nashville, making 38 saves.

But this has been the best post-season ever for Rinne, the three-time Vezina Trophy finalist - a stretch ranking among the NHL's best.

To emphasize the point, A-list musical acts have been lining up to sing the national anthem before games, including Kelly Clarkson, Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Keith Urban, Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill and Carrie Underwood.

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