#9 Anaheim Ducksvs.#10 Nashville Predators
Written by David Hess
Anaheim Ducks vs Nashville Predators (Preds Lead Series 2-1)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, May 18, 2017
Where: Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee
Lines: Nashville -145/ Anaheim +131
NHL playoff hockey action on Thursday evening and the Anaheim Ducks will square off with the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee in game four of their best-of-seven series. The teams split the two games in Anaheim and then with game three here in Nashville, the Preds took a 2-1 series lead with a 2-1 win. The home team has now won five of the last six in the series.
The Anaheim Ducks have been the best offensive team in the postseason so far, but they really struggle in their 2-1 loss in game three of this series. Not only did they score just one goal in the game, but they also got off just 20 shots on a tough Nashville defense. Despite being tops in the playoffs in scoring, they have scored two goals or less in four of their last five games. The Preds are a tough defensive team and they will need to figure out a way to get more shots and more goals or they will not stay in this series much longer. Scoring their lone goal in the game three loss was Corey Perry, which was his 3rd of the playoffs and his 22nd of the year. The Ducks have now gone 4-2 on the road in the playoffs so far while going 21-26 on the road for the year overall.
Taking the loss in game three was John Gibson and he has now gone 8-5 with a 2.74 GAA and a .915 save percentage in the postseason this year, while in the postseason in his career he is now 10-9 with a 2.77 GAA and a .914 save percentage. The Ducks enter this contest ranked 1st among playoff teams in scoring at 3.07 gpg, while also ranking 7th in shots taken (33.6 spg) and 12th in power play conversions, converting on 15.9% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they rank 12th goals allowed among playoff teams, giving up 2.93 gpg, while also ranking 12th in shots allowed (33.4 spg) and 14th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 25.9% of their chances.
The Nashville defense had a big game in game three as they allowed just 20 shots in the game and that allowed the Preds to hang in the game. Nashville got off 40 shots in the game but didn’t score their first goal of the game at the 3:54 mark of the 3rd period. That goal came from Filip Forsberg and it was his 3rd game in a row that he scored. Forsberg now has six goals in the postseason and 37th on the year. The Preds then went ahead with just 2.43 left in the game on a goal by Roman Josi, which was his 5th of the playoffs and his 17th of the year. This is a team that is very tough to beat here at home and now dating back to last year, they have won their last 10 postseason games here at Bridgestone Arena. For the year overall, they are now 30-17 here at home.
Snatching up the win in game three was Pekka Rinne and he has now gone 10-3 with a 1.58 GAA and a .942 save percentage in the postseason this year so far, while in the postseason in his career he has gone 32-29 with a 2.32 GAA and a .918 save percentage. The Predators enter this game ranked 4th in the league in scoring, in the postseason, at 2.77 gpg, while also ranking 11th in shots taken (30.6 spg) and 11th in power play conversions, converting on 16.2% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they have been the best in the postseason in goals allowed, giving up just 1.69 gpg, while also ranking 2nd in shots allowed (28.0 spg) and 9th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 15.6% of their chances.
The Ducks are the number two seed in the West and they have their backs against the wall in this game, which should have them come out fully focused. Still, they are taking on a Nashville team that has been the best team in the postseason so far and a Nashville team that has won their last 10 playoff home games, dating back to last year. This is a very good team on this floor and their defense has been very strong in the postseason so far. Here at home, they have allowed just seven total goals in their six playoff games so far and that defense, along with Pekka Rinne should get the better of the Ducks once again.
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I have always had a fascination with numbers and sports, so I combined the two to become a handicapper and a blogger. I love sports and I love writing about them and all the info I put in my blogs is well-thought-out and well-researched. I am a big fan of all the major sports and the colleges, plus I know golf pretty well, tennis and the WNBA. I am very versatile. Hope you enjoy my content.