Anaheim Ducks vs. Nashville Predators Game 4
Date and Time: Thursday, May 18, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN
NHL Playoff Odds: Predators -150, O/U 5
Ducks vs. Predators Game 4 TV Coverage: NBC Sports Network
You could see the exact moment that the last bit of air was taken out of the souls of the visitors on Tuesday night. Chris Wagner took a high-sticking penalty at 16:05 of the third period of a tie game, and an Anaheim team that was just pummeled on its side of the ice over the course of the most of the game was seemingly never going to figure out how to kill off that penalty.
And kill it off the Ducks didn't.
Viktor Arvidsson, who had a fantastic Game 3 even though he wasn't on the stat sheet with much, ripped a shot that John Gibson deflected away but never tracked the rebound, and Roman Josi was waiting in the faceoff circle to take the puck and blast it into the gaping net. The damage was done. The Predators were up 2-1, and the Ducks literally never had another even halfway decent look at Pekka Rinne.
Even with 20 seconds left in the game and Anaheim possessing the puck in its own zone, it never really got out with an extra attacker on the ice. The body language told you all you needed to know. The Ducks were battered, bruised and beaten, and what made this loss even more psychologically damaging is the fact that it came after scratching out a 1-0 lead thanks to Corey Perry's power play goal at 15:35 of the second period.
2 – The number of disallowed goals the Predators had in the third period.
In the end, Gibson looks like he had a pretty good game, stopping 38-of-40 shots for the Ducks. But we know better. For as good as he was in the first two periods, all of the crashes to the net and the hard shots that peppered him took their toll in the third. Not only did Gibson let two of the 12 shots get past him, but he let in two others as well that were ruled no goal due to goalie interference.
We loved the close up shots of his mask during the third period. You could see in his eyes that he was tired and beaten, and though he did everything he could, he's just flat out not the better goalie in this series, and he knows it. If his team can't get more than 20 shots on goal against Rinne, this series may as well be over with even though it's only 2-1.
Ducks vs. Predators Game 4 Free Picks
We really thought the Ducks were going to get at least one of these games in Nashville, but after the way that Game 3 was lost, we think they're flat out done.
The Predators have absolutely dominated at both the blue lines and the boards in this series, and all of the big hits ultimately take their toll at some point over the course of a series. The Ducks have had to fight hard to get to this point, and you just get the sense they've had it.
Nashville is going to keep up its end of the bargain. It's a team that plays physical hockey and throws both pucks and bodies at the opposing net and makes goalies uncomfortable. Gibson definitely looks unnerved. He might come unglued on Thursday.
Ducks vs. Predators Game 4 Pick: Play the Predators at BookMaker.eu
Ducks vs. Predators Game 4 Score Prediction: Predators 6, Ducks 1