#13 Anaheim Ducksvs.#14 Nashville Predators
Written by David Hess
Anaheim Ducks vs Nashville Predators (Preds Lead Series 3-2)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, May 22, 2017
Where: Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee
Lines: Nashville -140/ Anaheim +127
Tonight on the ice, the Anaheim Ducks will look to stave off elimination when they rumble with the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee in game five of their best-of-seven series. The teams split the two games in Anaheim and then split the two games in Nashville. The Preds then took a 3-2 series lead with a 3-1 win at Anaheim on Saturday. The Over is 13-5-8 the last 26 games in this series.
The Anaheim Ducks have been one of the best offensive teams in the playoffs this year, but they just couldn’t get much going in their 3-1 home loss to the Preds in game five of this series. They did get off 33 shots in the games, but all they could muster was a goal by Chris Wagner, which was his 2nd goal of the postseason and his 8th of the year. That goal gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead in the game, but from then on it was all Nashville and now Anaheim really has their backs against the wall as they are down 3-2 in the series. They really need to get their offense going, but it will not be easy as Pekka Rinne has been the best goalie in the postseason so far. Still, they are the only team to beat the Preds at Bridgestone Arena this year. Ducks have gone 5-2 on the road in the postseason so far.
Taking the loss in game five was Jonathan Bernier, who came in after the first period to replace John Gibson, who left with a lower-body injury. Gibson is questionable for this game and should he get the nod then we note that he is 9-5 with a 2.59 GAA and a .918 save percentage in the postseason this year, while in the postseason in his career he is 11-9 with a 2.66 GAA and a .917 save percentage. Bernier is 1-1 with a 2.34 GAA and a 2.34 save percentage in the postseason in his career. The Ducks enter this contest ranked 2nd among playoff teams in scoring at 2.94 gpg, while also ranking 7th in shots taken (33.8 spg) and 13th in power play conversions, converting on 14.0% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they rank 12th goals allowed among playoff teams, giving up 2.88 gpg, while also ranking 13th in shots allowed (33.2 spg) and 14th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 24.6% of their chances.
The Nashville Predators came into the playoffs as the number eight seed, but they have been the best team in the postseason so far and are now just one win away from making it to the Stanley Cup Finals, which would be their first time that they made it in their history. In game five, they went into Anaheim without Ryan Johansen, who has been lost for the rest of the postseason and they still came out on top with a 3-1 win. Now they get a chance to close out the series here at home, where they have lost just one of their last 11 playoff games. Tat lone loss over that stretch was in game four against the Ducks. Scoring in the game five win was Colin Wilson, which was his 2nd of the postseason and 14t h of the year, Pontus Aberg, which was his 1st of the playoffs and 2nd of the year and Austin Watson, which was his 2nd of the playoffs and 5th of the year.
Snatching up the win in game five was Pekka Rinne and he has now gone 11-4 with a 1.62 GAA and a .942 save percentage in the postseason this year so far, while in the postseason in his career he has gone 33-30 with a 2.31 GAA and a .919 save percentage. The Predators enter this game ranked 6th in the league in scoring, in the postseason, at 2.73 gpg, while also ranking 10th in shots taken (30.7 spg) and 11th in power play conversions, converting on 15.9% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they have been the best in the postseason in goals allowed, giving up just 1.73 gpg, while also ranking 4th in shots allowed (28.9 spg) and 6th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 13.2% of their chances.
The Preds have been the best team in the postseason overall and they have been dominant at home, but I have a sneaky suspicion that the Ducks are the play in this game and they will rise up to force a game seven, The Ducks are not intimidated by playing in this arena and they will come up with the effort needed to win the game. There is a question as to who will be their goalie, but whoever it is, I still say the Ducks are the play. Look for a hard fought game and one that will go the way of Anaheim as they send this series back to Anaheim for a game seven.
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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.