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Three keys in the Ducks' 2-1 loss to the Predators in Game 7

Ducks forward Ryan Garbutt tries to get past Predator defenseman Roman Josi in pursuit of the puck during first period action in Game 7.
Ducks forward Ryan Garbutt tries to get past Predator defenseman Roman Josi in pursuit of the puck during first period action in Game 7. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

For the fourth season in a row, the Ducks had an opportunity to advance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs only to fall short in Game 6 on the road and Game 7 at home.

Here are three keys that led to the Ducks' 2-1 loss to the Predators at the Honda Center on Wednesday night:

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1. Starting sluggish: The Ducks had another poor start. Colin Wilson's first-period score marked the fourth straight Game 7 the Ducks allowed a goal in the opening seven minutes. They have allowed two goals in the opening 17 minutes in each of those Game 7s.

2. No five-on-five scoring: Lack of even-strength scoring hurt the Ducks. Anaheim did not have a five-on-five goal the rest of the series after Sami Vatanen's score in the third period of Game 5. The Ducks were 26th in the NHL in five-on-five scoring in the regular season.

3. Nearly perfect Pekka: Pekka Rinne held his ground. The Predators goalie was sharp at the start and helped Nashville weather a furious final two periods in a clutch performance for the 33-year-old veteran. He made 36 saves.

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