Filip Forsberg’s goal just past the midway mark of the third period helped the Nashville Predators to a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 1 on Friday night.
Forsberg was attempting to make a cross-ice pass, but his feed re-directed off of Ducks blue liner Shea Theodore and past John Gibson for the eventual winner.
Forsberg now has seven points in seven career postseason games.
With the victory, the Predators steal home ice from the Anaheim Ducks and will head home to Bridgestone Arena, at the very least, tied 1-1.
James Neal opened the scoring 35 seconds into the first and Colin Wilson tied the game 2-2 with a nice one-handed re-direct in the second period.
Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler responded for Anaheim.
"They're a good hockey club, and they outplayed us tonight. I don't know what we thought, but they're a good hockey club,” said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. “We didn't play the we need to in order to be successful, that's for sure. We can do better in the physical department.
"No one on this team is saying 'Oh, this is over.' Plenty of teams have lost the first game and have come back and won, then won again."
Boudreau did not have an update on defenseman Josh Manson, who did not return to the game after a hit from Forsberg during the final seconds of the opening period.
In what is sure to be one of the storylines throughout the series, Ryan Johansen won 53 percent of his draws while matched against Kesler much of the night.
Pekka Rinne made 27 saves in the win while John Gibson, starting his first playoff game since Game 7 of the 2014 Western Conference semifinals, stopped 30 shots in the loss.
For the second time in as many nights a a defenseman came to the aid of his goaltender and made a save. On Friday night it was Ryan Ellis making a stop with his butt denying Jamie McGinn of a goal, and keeping the game tied at 2-2 late in the second.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series goes Sunday night at the Honda Center.