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James Neal delivers in OT as Predators edge Ducks

James Neal delivers in OT as Predators edge Ducks

Then, at 2:42 of the second period, Austin Watson scored his first of the playoffs as his blast to Gibson's right went off the skate of Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen and in.

The Predators were well rested and that might have been the difference on Friday as the Ducks struggled to keep pace with Nashville.

Nashville tied the score at 1 on Forsberg's third goal of the playoffs at 12:34 of the first.

However, Gibson-who recorded a playoff career-high 43 saves in the loss-couldn't come up with a stop on Neal when the winger ripped home the game-winner. Nashville's 3-2 overtime win was the team's third Game 1 win on the road this postseason.

Nashville dominated the exhausted Ducks, and Forsberg forced a turnover on a forecheck before tipping Matt Irwin's shot through Gibson for his fourth goal. Lindholm scored his first playoff goal in 25 games since Game 1 of the 2015 Western Conference finals against Chicago.

Neal is confident the Predators' journey through the post season prepared them well for the Ducks.

The Predators also arrived at the Western Conference Finals with a 5-2 playoff record in Honda Center.

The Ducks will host the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of the teams' best-of-seven series at Honda Center.

"I feel like for years, they've been one of the top teams in the Western Conference", Rinne said after the Predators arrived in Orange County. "But we're all playing for the same thing, and right now it's about getting four wins before they do".

"It is going to be a battle every night and we are fighting for a chance to play for the Stanley Cup so everyone in our room is going to do whatever it takes".

"I don't know if it hit the goalie or the player that was laying in front still", Neal said. "Nashville was the fresher team early but I liked the way we got back into the game after the first period". Linemate Corey Perry also has come alive after a pedestrian regular season with a goal and five assists in the last four games versus Edmonton while 33-goal scorer Rickard Rakell tallied in four straight games against the Oilers. They won two out of three in the 2011 first round, including a huge Game 5 victory when Jerred Smithson scored with 1:57 gone into overtime. "It was their first game in a while".

"Obviously, it's a new year, new teams, (but) for some of us, it means a little bit more", Anaheim center Ryan Kesler said. They've won a league best nine straight playoff games dating back to game six of the Ducks series a year ago.

Pekka Rinne - Nashville's goaltender entered the game with a league-leading.951 save percentage in the playoffs and stopped 27 of 29 shots in the Game One win, dropping his playoff save percentage to.950. They're 0 for 21 with the man advantage since late in Game 2 against Edmonton on April 28.