Corey Perry scored the game winner and had two assists to help the Anaheim Ducks beat the Nashville Predators 6-3 and tie the best-of-seven series at 2-2 on Wednesday night.
Anaheim scored three goals in under seven minutes to start the third period and broke open a game that looked like it might go to either team after being tied 3-3 at the second intermission.
Along with Perry`s three-point night, Ryan Getzlaf and Brandon McMillan each pitched in a goal and an assist to contribute to the important road win.
Saku Koivu, Cam Fowler, and Teemu Selanne also found the back of the net for Anaheim. Selanne`s goal was his league leading fifth of the playoffs.
The six-goal effort from the Ducks made many forget that the team was without forward Bobby Ryan who served the last game of his suspension for stepping on Jonathon Blum’s foot in game two.
Before Nashville`s offence disappeared in the third period it saw goals from Joel Ward, Patrick Hornqvist, and Matt Halischuk.
As the discipline issues continue to plague both teams in the series, defenceman Shane O’Brien took his team-leading sixth penalty of the series early in the first period after pushing Ducks’ forward Todd Marchant from behind into the centre ice boards.
The Ducks special teams opened the scoring on the ensuing power play when Fowler blasted a point shot past a screened Pekka Rinne after Nashville’s Ward failed to clear the puck.
Just 33 seconds later another defensive zone turnover cost the Predators as Koivu banged home a Jason Blake rebound to put the Ducks up 2-0.
A timeout from Nashville head coach Barry Trotz seemed to refocus the team as Hornqvist beat Ray Emery on the Predators’ very next shot, their first of the game, at 5:45 to narrow the gap to 2-1.
Emery made 19 saves on 22 shots in the game.
As the second period got under way Nashville soon found itself with the man advantage after Martin Erat was drilled by a Jarko Ruutu hit that was called interference. Ward tipped home a Cody Franson slap shot from point on the resulting power play to tie the game 2-2.
Erat, who was Nashville’s regular season point leader, did not return to the game after the collision.
Before the period ended Selanne skilfully tipped in a Getzlaf centering pass while on the power play.
Halischuk respond two and half minutes later by scoring his first career playoff goal on a wrap around pass from Kevin Klein to tie the game 3-3 going into the final frame.
Whatever Randy Carlyle said during the second intermission definitely worked.
The Ducks roared into the final period on fire, chasing Rinne from the net after beating him three times in less than six minutes on goals from Perry, Getzlaf, and McMillan to put Anaheim up 6-3.
Rinne allowed six goals on 29 shots before being yanked for Anders Lindback who stopped all nine shots he faced.
Game 5 will take place on Friday night at the Honda Center in Anaheim.