Stanley music to Nashville's ears

Nashville Predators advance to Stanley Cup Final

Outnumbering their opponents with more than double the total of shots on goal Monday despite missing two injured forwards, the Ducks could not convert on the power play, going 0-for-4 against the dependable Rinne.

No matter the shot margin, no matter how dire the situation looked for a stretch of the third period, the Nashville Predators were determined to keep their date with history Monday night. But Nashville killed that off, and Colton Sissons got his third goal of the night, three seconds later, to key what became a 6-3 win in Game 6, ending the Western Conference finals.

Helene Elliot of the Los Angeles Times quoted Peter Laviolette following Nashville's win and his thoughts on achieving his 3rd appearance in the finals.

The Predators will open the Stanley Cup Finals on the road against the Eastern Conference champion, which will either be the Pittsburgh Penguins or the Ottawa Senators.

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But Sissons, who scored on the third shot of the game, scored twice in a wild third period to give the Predators a 3-2 lead at 3:00 and then 4-3 three minutes later. On James Neal's goal, Mattias Ekholm had some downright medieval net presence, taking out a number of Ducks and clearing the way for the game victor.

"I said it a couple of times already and I don't want to boost myself or anything", said Subban, who was traded for Nashville's Shea weber past year. A pair of empty-netters ensured the underdog darlings of the playoffs would indeed go the distance.

"It's hard to describe and it's an wonderful feeling to win this, and we're not done", Neal said. Top forward Rickard Rakell and Patrick Eaves didn't make the trip to Nashville.

Then Roman Josi was given a delay penalty for flipping the puck over the boards.

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"All of us like to skate and be part of the attack", Ellis said in describing the unit recently. "We couldn't get bodies in front of Rinne like we wanted, and we let him see too many shots".

But this Predators team and their noisy fans were not going to be denied. The 23-year-old forward had 13 career National Hockey League goals before this postseason began. By the end, Anaheim's bottom two lines were devoid of NHL-level scoring talent.

"It definitely hurts worse when you play that good and you come back and you know this team has shown resiliency all year and to give up a goal like that, it ... sucks", Kesler said. With everything that is happening around us, you still feel hungry and now we have a chance to play for the Cup. Sometimes, in these games, it's not meant to be. "You have that many shots and lose", Andrew Cogliano said, "it kicks you a little hard".

With reflection, the onus will again fall on those who are best-equipped to bear it. He has been labeled as the backbone of the Nashville Predators with his 1.70 goals against average and record of 12-4 during the 2017 playoffs. Attendance plunged when the novelty wore off, and at one point the franchise was in real danger of moving to Hamilton, Ontario. After four straight seasons of backing down at the moment of truth, after building what they thought would be enough depth to get through a playoff grind, after bringing Randy Carlyle back to coach them because they believed his calm and resourcefulness would guide them past their mental and emotional postseason hurdles, the ending was the same for the Ducks.

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Meanwhile, Brent crude oil, the worldwide benchmark, is up 1.9% at $49.89 per barrel on Wednesday, and has lost 12.4% this year. Crude prices rose further in Asia on Thursday, building on overnight gains following an upbeat report on USA inventories.

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