NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Call it being conned or suckered as the Ducks felt when applying those terms to describe their feelings about Nashville’s Filip Forsberg pulling a fast one on Saturday night.
As they held onto a 2-1 lead in the third period against the Predators, Forsberg drew toward the Ducks’ Chris Wagner near the Anaheim net and turned his back toward the center following a whistle.
Wagner gave Forsberg a quick chop to the back and the Predators star, who irritated the Ducks throughout last spring’s Western Conference finals, went down to the ice. Whether the force knocked him down or not, it drew a cross-checking penalty and got Nashville a power play.
After sitting while pleading his case to the referee, Wagner watched the Predators tie the game on Calle Jarnkrok’s power-play goal and they eventually got a 3-2 win in the shootout. Afterward, the calls that Forsberg embellished to draw that whistle were fast and furious.
Not mincing words, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said Forsberg dove.
“The referee in my mind got – I don’t know what the word I can use to describe – but was conned,” Carlyle said. “From my standpoint in watching it, he backed specifically in and he’s smiling as he goes down.
“To me, that’s not a call for that situation in a (2-1) game. Obviously they saw it different. We’ll voice the opinion to the necessary people.”
In a tense, spirited game full of extracurricular activity between teams that have become playoff rivals, Wagner called what he did routine.
“I’m standing there and he backs into me,” Wagner said. “I put my stick up and he falls over. That’s what happened. I said (to the ref), he literally backed into me. So I put my stick there. That happens 100 times a game. Can’t change it now.”
Wagner acknowledged that Forsberg was setting him up by turning his back to him and Carlyle said better discretion had to be applied by his player in seeing what they felt Forsberg was trying to do.
“You cannot do that,” Carlyle said. “We cannot touch the player. Don’t put yourself in that situation. That’s all you can say.”
Ducks goalie Ryan Miller questioned why a call had to be made at that point in a game that had a physical bent throughout.
“He’s trying to sucker it in and even bends over and anticipates getting cross checked,” Miller said. “He’s going to fall. I think it’s too easy of a call. You can’t maybe retaliate in that situation.
“I’d like to see this ref…