Nashville (2-2) at Anaheim (2-2)
When: Saturday, May 20th 2017
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
Time: 7:15 ET | TV: NBC
Anaheim’s Corey Perry continues to come up big in the 2017 postseason and it was no different last time out against the Nashville Predators. In Game 4 of their Western Conference finals series, Perry scored for the third time in extra time as the Ducks avoided being in a big hole, and evened their series up heading back to southern California. Perry’s shot deflected in off Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban’s stick 10 minutes, 25 seconds into overtime as the Ducks snapped the Predators 10-game home playoff winning streak. Perry matched Mel Hill (1939) and Maurice Richard (1951) for the most OT goals in a single postseason. Perry also moved passed Teemu Selanne with a franchise-record 36 playoff goals. John Gibson made 32 saves for Anaheim, which was the last team to beat the Predators in Nashville in the playoffs last spring. Rickard Rakell and Nick Ritchie also scored for Anaheim, which had to hang on for dear life in the third period as they committed several penalties to help Nashville send it to extra time with 34 seconds remaining. It was the Ducks fourth overtime victory this postseason, matching a franchise-high. Anaheim is 4-1 and Nashville 2-1 in overtime during the 2017 playoffs, with the only losses against each other.
The news got even worse for Nashville after the Game 4 setback as Ryan Johansen, who has not missed a game since his acquisition from Columbus in the middle of the 2015-16 season, injured his knee and will not play the rest of the postseason. Johansen, the Predators’ No. center, was enjoying a stellar postseason with 13 points and 14 games and was a +4 in the series against Anaheim. His absence will put even more pressure on linemate Filip Forsberg, who scored the tying goal late in the third period in Game 4 to force overtime and is the first player in seven years to score in each of the first four games of a conference final. The Predators also could be without captain and center Mike Fisher, who suffered an undisclosed injury in Game 4 and is questionable. Pekka Rinne made a postseason-high 37 saves, but dropped to 10-4 with the loss. Forward Viktor Arvidsson has five assists during a three-game point streak.
The task is going to be tough without Johansen and possibly Fisher for the Predators. Anaheim has the momentum back and they play well at home. I can see this going seven games with the home team winning each of the remaining three.
Pick: Ducks -116
HEAD TO HEAD
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