Frederik Andersen helps Ducks to Game 3 win over Predators
Anaheim netminder takes slapshot to helmet, but stands ground in shutout
Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau had one thought when he saw goaltender Frederik Andersen take a slapshot from Nashville captain Shea Weber off the head.
"Those things hurt," Boudreau said.
A trainer came out to check on Andersen, who missed seven games because of a concussion in March.
Andersen stayed in the game and made 27 saves as the Ducks shut out the Nashville Predators 3-0 Tuesday night to pull within 2-1 in their first-round playoff series.
"I think it bounced off the top of my head instead of square in the forehead, so I think that was pretty lucky," said Andersen, who has 16 post-season wins since 2014. "The buckle came off, so I wanted to make sure to get that back on so it was safe to play again."
The Ducks have not lost three straight to open a post-season series since the 2006 Western Conference finals, and they didn't come close to dropping a third straight this year.
Andersen, who started in net after John Gibson took the first two losses in Anaheim, posted his second post-season shutout despite the slap shot from Weber, who won the hardest shot competition at the All-Star Game in January, during a power play in the second period.
Chris Stewart had a goal and an assist, and Jamie McGinn and Rickard Rakell each scored their first goals of the series.
"We didn't make it easy on us," Stewart said. "But at the end of the day, it is a race to four and it's 2-1 now and we have one more to play before we go home."
Game 4 is Thursday night in Nashville.
The Predators returned home with their first 2-0 lead in the post-season. The Predators lost centre Craig Smith to a lower-body injury after he played only 65 seconds over two shifts, leaving coach Peter Laviolette mixing up his lines.
"It's not an excuse for the way we played, but certainly we'd rather have guys in there and lines rolling over as opposed to patching them together as we moved though the periods," Laviolette said.
Boudreau called out his Ducks after a 3-2 loss in Game 2 for taking too many penalties and talking too much to the officials. Boudreau also switched back to Andersen and played Shawn Horcoff for the first time in this series looking for a spark.
Even though the Ducks took five penalties, they still showed much more discipline once the whistle blew.
"We did control our emotions," Boudreau said. "The penalties we got, other than the too many men on the ice, they were earned. We'll take them. We are really proud of our penalty killers. We don't like them to do it too much, we'd like to keep it to two or three a game, but they did a great job tonight."