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Will the Predators upset the Ducks in Game 1? NHL Predictions 5/12/17

19 Mai 2017

That's not exactly how it happened, though. That's what ultimately matters. They started to even out with Nashville as the game turned into more of a back and forth and less of the Predators just transitioning off of turnovers.

Ducks: Defeated Flames 4-0; Defeated Oilers 4-3.

The Predators made sure they were well-rested for their conference finals debut after 18 National Hockey League seasons.

Filip Forsberg answered the goal with one of his own at the 12:34 mark, flipping a pass from Matt Irwin into the net for the 1-1 tie heading into the first intermission.

Anaheim and Nashville meet in the best-of-seven Western Conference finals with the victor advancing to play for the Stanley Cup.

“Having the clinching game last night and then being — I dont know if its called forced — to play the next game in less than 48 hours is kind of a surprise, ” Carlyle said. The win shifted home-ice advantage to the Predators and a deeper look shows that's bad news for Anaheim, which doesn't want to head east in what could be a must-win situation. Nashville hasn't struggled on the road in the postseason. The Ducks have managed five goals over their last three games. Anaheim peppered 29 shots on the Predators goalie in total, and he stopped them all but two of them to earn his ninth win of the playoffs. "Any game seven there is going to be ebbs and flows", said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "If we keep playing this way and keep getting better and better as a team and a group, I think our future is pretty bright", added Draisaitl.

Nashville Predators right wing James Neal (18) plays against the Chicago Blackhawks during the second period in Game 3 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series Monday, April 17, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. "From previous year, finishing near the bottom of the league ... we grew as a group and we took that next step". As much as I can appreciate the skill of the Preds' JOFA Line, there isn't really much to write home about in terms of legitimate offensive talent once you get past that first trio.

Anaheim was playing in their third overtime game over the past five games and their power play woes continued Friday, going scoreless on those advantages. Converting on just one of those opportunities could have changed the outcome entirely. Neither team scored on power plays, but the Predators failed to score with a 5-on-3 power play. The late-season acquisition has played in a Game 7 seven times in his career, most among the Ducks.

That will need to be fixed in a hurry. Anaheim would have to gear up for a winner-take-all Game 7 Wednesday night. When a team implements a neutral zone trap, it often results in the attacking team having to dump and chase, relying on their ability to win boards battles. That one went to the guys in yellow and we'll see if they can repeat the magic from last spring.

NOTES: Anaheim remained without two key injured veterans.

"You look out for the fact they're not coming back or being able to adapt", said Silverstone. Then it will simply become a matter of who can grind out a win and move on.

Andrew Cogliano scored halfway through the second period to tie the game 1-1.

But that's not what was in store for Game 1 of the Western Conference finals. They penalty kill unit came through. "Rinne loves to handle the puck and if you do not dump the puck in effectively he is going to be another defenseman back there".

"Nashville possesses a different type of goaltender in Rinne from the sense that he nearly plays like a defenseman", Carlyle said.

Entering the playoffs for the first time since an unexpected run to the 2006 Stanley Cup finals, the Oilers defied modest expectations and the constant reminder that their roster was populated mostly by players with little to no playoff experience. Friday was a strong step in the right direction, but it wasn't quite enough. The Predators picked up the Ducks at the blue line and rarely let them set up.

Will the Predators upset the Ducks in Game 1? NHL Predictions 5/12/17