Fiala had 11 goals in 54 regular-season games and two in these playoffs. Nick Ritchie scored the tiebreaking goal at 3:21 of the third and John Gibson made 23 saves a game after being pulled in the Ducks' 7-1 loss in Edmonton.
A phenomenal top-four on defense and the work of Pekka Rinne (8-2, 1.37 GAA, .951 SV%) in goal are why the Predators have allowed only 14 goals in their 10 playoff games.
Now they'll be looking to ascend to their first ever Stanley Cup Finals by way of the Anaheim Ducks.
Nick Ritchie scored the game victor and the Anaheim Ducks ended a game seven jinx by beating the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 Wednesday to book their spot in the NHL Conference finals. In two previous playoff meetings, the Predators twice eliminated the Ducks, most recently in a seven-game series last season.
Nobody would've predicted these two series to occur before the playoffs started. "The things we did this year were truly awesome and we gave the fans something, that were behind for so many years, something to cheer about and the fans should be proud of themselves too, surely as the players", said Maroon. "We actually started to play better once they scored, and we got another one and then we kind of brought it home with good defensive hockey".
The Nashville Predators are in the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history.
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"I wouldn't say it's a relief, but the fact we don't have to talk about it anymore, that's a good thing", captain Ryan Getzlaf said. Ryan Getzlaf shows us time and time again that he's capable of strapping a team to his back in big games and carrying it across the goal line. "We are already beginning to prepare for next year in my opinion." said Oilers head coach Todd McLellan. "I don't think a lot of people had us going to the 2nd round in September", added McDavid. "We won't have to answer that experience question anymore, which is nice. We're glad that the goals came in the second round". It was Caggiula's third goal of the playoffs. Then it took a wild seven-game series to knock out the young and unsafe Edmonton Oilers.
They will be the favorites to win the Pacific Division next year, with McDavid and Leon Draisaitl down the middle, shutdown defensemen Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson on the blue line and Cam Talbot in net. Nashville has won nine consecutive at home in the postseason, dating back to a 3-1 win over the Ducks in Game Six of their 2016 First Round series. "It doesn't hurt the psyche, that's for sure, because I think it takes a little frustration out of your game if you finally crack through a little bit". "It's a phenomenal feeling".
The lead was enough for Gibson, who was a brick wall for the entire game outside of Theodore's one miscue.
Anaheim has just two days to prepare to face another daunting obstacle from its playoff past: a 6-foot-5 Finnish goalie with a knack for stopping the Ducks in their playoff tracks. But the Ducks killed the power play spanning the intermission and then gradually increased their push. Last round, he went two for four, correctly predicting Ottawa would beat the New York Rangers and Nashville would beat the St. Louis Blues. Cogliano ended a personal 13-game playoff goal drought for the speedy ex-Oilers forward who hasn't missed a game in his entire 10-year National Hockey League career.
Getting Oscar Klefbom back is a huge coup for the Oilers.
NOTES: Anaheim remained without two key injured veterans.