Predators looking to clinch series on home ice Monday

  • Predators looking to clinch series on home ice Monday

Predators looking to clinch series on home ice Monday

You had two choices: conquer or die.

Game... Set... Preds lead the series 3-2. As Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said, "It's playoff hockey". "So we're the desperate team".

The Good Solid penalty killing (going 4-4) and overall just outstanding team play... the Predators imposed their will on an Anaheim team that came out strong.

"Right when we walked off, yeah, you could hear people", said Predators defenceman Roman Josi. "It's awesome playing in front of him, and he's been unbelievable". Like we said all playoffs, our fans are unbelievable. Just with regard to where we were at last game, we needed a centerman.

"We're all excited. It's so much fun".

The Predators fly home today, they will arrive at 3:30 in their normal Signature Air location... "But I haven't talked to him".

And now the unassuming Swede has another new role for Nashville: He's the hero of the latest clutch victory in the Predators' increasingly irresistible Stanley Cup push. In Game 5, his bid for the victor generated a rebound for right winger Pontus Aberg, who lit the lamp to put Nashville one win away from its first Stanley Cup finals appearance.

Of course, so are the Ducks.

The Anaheim Ducks host the Nashville Predators in game five of the NHL Western Conference finals at 7:15pm EST on May 20.

Unless Mike Fisher and Craig Smith are healthy enough to play, the team will likely have the same lineup.

The Ducks also were hurting without Rakell, a surprise omission due to a lower-body injury, and Eaves, who missed his ninth straight game.

"Yeah, that's what playoffs are about", said Cogliano. They imposed their will on the Anaheim Ducks, used their speed and played their system to nearly perfection.

Predators GM David Poile has long stressed that the road to Nashville goes through Milwaukee, where the franchise's American Hockey League affiliate, the Admirals, play. Although he did not get an assist on Colin Wilson's game-tying power-play goal in Game 5, he figured into it in a different way.

Nashville now has a 3-2 series lead. With skaters like Derick Brassard, Bobby Ryan and Jean-Gabriel Pageau, the Senators can easily take advantage and make the limited Pittsburgh winded if they can control the offensive zone this afternoon. It's about making sure your players are focused.

Austin Watson's empty netter with a minute to go closed the book on Game 5, as the Ducks had no chance to go all Nashville on the Predators in the final moments of a locked-up game. Moments before he made a Bobby Orr-like leap and scored the biggest goal of his career, the 23-year-old had lost a tooth after being driven face-first onto the ice. "If we lose, we come back here, and we don't want to do that".

It could become even bigger if Gibson is unable to play.

The problem for the Ducks is that the Predators are excellent at home.

After all, there is no turning back now. "It is one game at a time, but we know our next win puts us in contention for the Stanley Cup". Forsberg's line produced Nashville's only 5-on-5 goal of the game. The 23-year-old center has seven points in 15 playoff games, almost as many as he had in the entire regular season (10).

In Game 5, because of Johansen's injury, Forsberg was split up from winger Viktor Arvidsson, the other remaining JoFA Line forward. He's a veteran guy. "We've got to move forward, and there's a lot of trust and belief inside of our room that we can be successful". He was one of two goalies on the ice for the optional morning skate (also Jonathan Bernier), and Carlyle says he'll consult with the club's training staff on Gibson's availability. If Gibson is unable to dress, Bernier would be tabbed for his first playoff start.