Anaheim finally won a Game 7! After four straight seasons of being eliminated on home ice in a Game 7, the Anaheim Ducks finally came through when it mattered against Edmonton. The Ducks overcame an early 1-0 deficit to move on to the Western Conference Finals and are now looking to win their first Stanley Cup in a decade. To do that, they are going to have to best the Nashville Predators, a team that is making their first ever conference finals appearance.
Don’t miss the action on the ice from the Honda Center in Anaheim at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, May 12, 2017. Catch every moment of the game live on NBCSN. We will have NHL playoff hockey odds at BookMaker.eu for every postseason game.
NHL Playoff Odds at BookMaker.eu
The home team dominated this series in the regular season. Anaheim started it off by blasting Nashville 6-1 at home back in October and Nashville responded with a 5-0 win when the venue switched to the Music City two weeks later. The Ducks won the rubber game in a shootout on home ice.
These two teams met in the first round of the playoffs last year in an exciting series that went the distance. Nashville ended up winning the first two games in Anaheim, but the Ducks responded by besting the Predators in the next three. The Predators rode Pekka Rinne in the next two games though and into the second round.
Matchup to Watch
Speaking of Rinne, he is having by far his best postseason ever. Through 10 games, he is 8-2 and is the primary reason that Nashville already has its most successful playoffs ever despite being a No. 8 seed. He has a .951 save percentage and a 1.37 GAA to this point and will carry this team as far as its going to go.
His counterpart has not had nearly as good of a postseason. Although John Gibson came through for the Ducks in Game 7, he has been shaky all throughout these playoffs with Jonathan Bernier seeing some action as well. Gibson has a 2.80 GAA and .908 save percentage and will get pulled if he starts to struggle.
Anaheim’s power play has gone completely cold. The Ducks have not scored a power play goal in five games, despite having 16 chances, and will need to capitalize on their opportunities against a solid defensive team like Nashville. It didn’t stop them from scoring goals and going 4-1 in those last five tilts against Edmonton, but will trip them up here.
Meanwhile, Nashville only allowed one power play goal in the series against St. Louis. That continued a trend of the Predators shutting down some of the top scorers in the West as neither Vladimir Tarasenko or Patrick Kane could accomplish much against this defense.
Free NHL Playoff ATS Picks
Under bettors have really enjoyed Nashville this postseason. Rinne’s play, coupled with the team’s limited offensive capabilities, has meant only one game has ended up going over the total thus far. Conversely, Anaheim relied on an offensive explosion to rally in its series against Edmonton and five of the seven games ended up finishing over the total.
Nashville has shown it can win on the road this postseason with a 3-2 record away from Tennessee. As for Anaheim, the Ducks are 4-2 at home in the playoffs.
The Predators play a style that can be very frustrating. They are defensive to the max and constantly harass you with their strong, physical defenders. Rather than look to create chances, they are more apt to wait for you to overextend and then strike. That has worked to perfection thus far and should again here in Game 1. Look for the Predators to win a close one here.
NHL Playoff Odds: Predators 2, Ducks 1
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