NHL Playoff Odds - Western Conference Finals Game 5 Preview


Things were hairy for a while, but the Anaheim Ducks held on against the Nashville Predators to win a crucial Game 4 and knotted the series at two. The Ducks tallied a goal in the first and second period, but then began to crumble in the latter half of the third period. Anaheim committed four penalties in seven minutes and allowed a goal in the last 35 seconds that sent the game to overtime. Once in OT, a couple mistakes from Nashville’s defense led to an Anaheim victory.

Don’t miss the action on the ice from the Honda Center in Anaheim at 7:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 20, 2017. Catch every moment of the game live on NBC. We will have NHL playoff hockey odds at BookMaker.eu for every postseason game.

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Three of the four games in this series had four goals or less in regulation, but the extra period has led to two pushes with the total. Nashville has still played a lot of games under the total thanks to the play of Pekka Rinne, but has only held the Ducks under two goals once in this series.

Key Stat

Nashville’s inability to score on the power play has been a recurring theme in the series against Anaheim. The Predators had a myriad of chances in the waning minutes against the Ducks, including a 5 on 3 for a full 1:30, but just couldn’t find the back of the net. Nashville didn’t even get great chances against Anaheim as its style of play doesn’t translate into power play success.

The Predators have got to this point thanks to a quick strike offense with the defensemen finding young, fast forwards in transition. Nashville is not good at running a set offense and that has plagued the team when it comes to taking advantage of penalties.

Key Injury

Mike Fisher is the captain of the Predators and one of the team’s most important players. The team might have to play Game 5 without him though after he was helped off the ice with an injury late in the third period. It looked very much like Fisher suffered a concussion and his availability will be in question on Saturday.

Not having Fisher would be a huge loss for Nashville. He’s not the goal scorer he used to be, but is a consummate grinder and can influence the game by shutting down an opposing line.

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Richard Rakell has been on fire. He notched his seventh goal of the playoffs on Thursday night and has been one of the team’s most consistent players. Rakell has continued to develop as a goal scorer and is tough to hold down for long. Whereas teammates like Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf get most of the publicity, he has played just as well.

P.K. Subban makes mistakes too. Subban has been instrumental in Nashville’s run this postseason and started the comeback in Game 4 with a goal at the 13:32 mark of the third period, but ended the game in overtime. Subban accidentally redirected a puck from Corey Perry past Pekka Rinne and into his own net, giving the Ducks the game. It was a mistake that happens to every defender from time to time, but he will be scrutinized for it nonetheless.

Game 4 was the first time that Anaheim looked like the better team in this series. The Ducks looked fresh and harassed the Predators up and down the ice throughout the game. John Gibson had a solid game in net as well and stood tall on Nashville’s power play chances.

In Game 5, Nashville is going to carry the day. The team is going to rally around the captain and a big performance from Rinne will give the Predators the chance to close out the series on home ice.

NHL Playoff Odds: Predators 4, Ducks 2

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