The Nashville Predators are just one win away from their first ever Stanley Cup appearance and will get a chance at home to eliminate the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals on Monday night. Rookie Pontus Aberg scored his first career playoff goal with 8:59 to play, and the Predators beat the Ducks in Anaheim 3-1 in Game 5 on Saturday. Aberg scored on a rebound of Filip Forsberg’s shot for the Predators, who took a 3-2 series lead despite the injury absence of top scorer Ryan Johansen and Captain Mike Fisher. The Predators found some depth in the form of Aberg and Frederick Gaudreau, who won 10 of 14 faceoffs against the Ducks’ center men in his postseason debut. Gaudreau hadn’t been on the ice for Nashville since January 8th. Forsberg continues to do the heavy lifting with four goals and two assists during a six-game point streak. Pekka Rinne made 32 saves as the Predators won for the fifth time in their last seven postseason trips to Anaheim. Nashville is 10-3 at home in the playoffs the past two seasons – and all three losses have been against Anaheim.
The Ducks have major injury concerns of their own after starting goaltender John Gibson (lower body) exited Game 5 and Rickard Rakell, a 33-goal scorer during the regular season, sat out. Gibson vowed to be back in the lineup Monday but coach Randy Carlyle was not as optimistic, telling reporters: “We’ll do an assessment tomorrow and we’ll do an assessment once we get to Nashville on Monday morning and see where that takes us.” Anaheim could have to pin their hopes on backup Jonathan Bernier, who turned aside 16 of 18 shots Saturday but hasn’t made a start since April 9th. Bernier finished 21-7-4 with a 2.50 goals-against average and ripped off a 9-0-1 stretch late in the season that started with a 4-3 shootout win over visiting Nashville on March 7th, but he has been limited to three relief appearances in the postseason. Rakell has scored seven times this postseason and is listed as day-to-day by Carlyle, who assigned the same status to injured forward Patrick Eaves (career-high 32 goals) – sidelined for the past nine games of the playoffs. The Ducks are 2-for-30 on the power play over the last 10 games.
I have to ride the momentum of Rinne and the Predators in this one. They’ve been incredible at home in the postseason and the joint will be rocking again. Nashville will represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Ducks are 5-1 in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Ducks are 4-1 in their last 5 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Ducks are 6-2 in their last 8 road games.
Ducks are 21-8 in their last 29 vs. a team with a winning record.
Ducks are 20-8 in their last 28 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Ducks are 19-8 in their last 27 overall.
Ducks are 19-8 in their last 27 vs. Western Conference.
Ducks are 27-13 in their last 40 games playing on 1 days rest.
Ducks are 58-28 in their last 86 Monday games.
Ducks are 2-5 in their last 7 Conference Finals games.
Predators are 7-2 in their last 9 vs. Pacific.
Predators are 20-6 in their last 26 Monday games.
Predators are 9-3 in their last 12 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Predators are 18-6 in their last 24 vs. Western Conference.
Predators are 11-4 in their last 15 vs. a team with a winning record.
Predators are 11-4 in their last 15 overall.
Predators are 5-2 in their last 7 games playing on 1 days rest.
Predators are 20-8 in their last 28 home games.
Predators are 12-5 in their last 17 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Over is 7-1-4 in Ducks last 12 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Under is 4-1-1 in Ducks last 6 Monday games.
Under is 4-1-1 in Ducks last 6 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Over is 4-1-2 in Ducks last 7 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Under is 3-1-2 in Ducks last 6 overall.
Over is 6-2-3 in Ducks last 11 road games.
Under is 3-1-2 in Ducks last 6 vs. Central.
Under is 3-1-2 in Ducks last 6 vs. Western Conference.
Under is 3-1-2 in Ducks last 6 vs. a team with a winning record.
Over is 5-2-2 in Ducks last 9 Conference Finals games.
Under is 4-0-1 in Predators last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
Under is 9-1-3 in Predators last 13 home games.
Under is 10-2-4 in Predators last 16 games playing on 1 days rest.
Under is 8-2-6 in Predators last 16 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Under is 4-1-1 in Predators last 6 Monday games.
Under is 8-2-6 in Predators last 16 vs. Western Conference.
Under is 12-3-7 in Predators last 22 vs. a team with a winning record.
Under is 15-4-7 in Predators last 26 overall.
Under is 3-1-2 in Predators last 6 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Under is 5-2-7 in Predators last 14 games following a win.
Under is 5-2-3 in Predators last 10 vs. Pacific.
HEAD TO HEAD
Under is 3-0-4 in the last 7 meetings in Nashville.
Over is 13-5-8 in the last 26 meetings.
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