The Anaheim Ducks are supposed to be the high-scoring, offensive bunch in this first round series, a stark contrast to the defensive powerhouse that is the Nashville Predators. This is the battle we all thought we'd see in this first round series, but in Game 1 on Wednesday night, it was really the complete opposite.
Okay, fine. It was all Nashville.
The Preds rolled to victory on the back of two goals from Mike Fisher and single tallies from Steve Sullivan and Shea Weber to kick off the 2011 postseason and strengthen their bid to advance beyond the first round for the first time in franchise history. It's only one game, but it certainly felt like a mismatch in this first 60 minutes of the series.
Dan Ellis started the game in goal for the Ducks, but he certainly didn't finish. After Fisher's second goal made the score 4-0 in the third period, Ellis was yanked in favor of the potentially-still-injured (?) Ray Emery. Teemu Selanne scored with about nine minutes left to ruin Pekka Rinne's shutout, but it was obviously too little too late.
The story in this one was just, simply, Nashville's all-out dominance. It was a dominating defensive performance, led by Shea Weber and Ryan Suter, a dominating goaltending performance out of Rinne (who made 27 saves) and a dominating offensive performance against a Ducks team that really looked like they couldn't hang.
With that, the Preds ripped away the home-ice advantage that they lost to Anaheim less than a week ago. It's a huge win, and if you're a Ducks fan, you're hoping your team can find some success against this great Preds defense. It won't be easy.