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Ducks vs. Predators Game 6 Picks

NHL Hockey Predictions

Strange times these are for the Anaheim Ducks. They're down 3-2 in the Western Conference Finals and have to go on the road and take on the Nashville Predators on Monday night in what could be their last game of the season. But will their goalie be a part of the action or even make the trip back to "Smashville?"

Anaheim Ducks vs. Nashville Predators Game 6
Date and Time: Monday, May 22, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN
NHL Playoff Odds
Ducks vs. Predators Game 6 TV Coverage: NBCSN

John Gibson finally looked like a playoff goaltender in the Western Conference Finals. He was excellent in Game 4 to steal back home ice advantage from the Preds, and his first period in Game 5 was great with 10 saves on 10 shots. Then something peculiar happened. With no explanation, he wasn't in net in the second period. Jonathan Bernier, who has had played for a total of just over 30 minutes in his postseason career, started the second period in net. He helped the team take the lead, but he also gave up a power play goal just before the end of the second period and looked incredibly shaky the rest of the way.

The Predators just kept doing what the Predators do. We know we sound like a broken record, but it seems like all of their goals start off in the same fashion. The puck starts at the point. Forwards set screens. Defensemen rip shots or make passes down near the goal. Traffic and deflections cause chaos. Wash, rinse and repeat.

In the end, the 3-1 score line didn't tell the whole story. Austin Watson's empty-netter was merely a footnote in game that was darn close every step of the way.

But regardless as to whether it's Bernier or Gibson in the pipes in Game 6, someone is going to have to figure out how to outplay Pekka Rinne. Rinne really has only had a couple bad games in this postseason, and when he's been beaten, it's usually been by a superior goaltending performance.

Key Stat

+15 – The goal differential for the Predators in their last 11 home playoff games in the third period.

Nashville flat out owns the third period in its own building, and that was on display in Game 4 once again. The Predators tallied two goals in the third to send the game to overtime, and most were shocked that Anaheim actually ended up winning that game in the extra session.

The Ducks, on the contrary, have had problems in the third period at times, and that's a sure sign for trouble the rest of the way in this series. They were -2 again on Saturday night at home, and if they can't figure out how to keep their own net clean and put one or two past Rinne in the final stanza, their season is probably coming to a close on Monday night.

Ducks vs. Predators Game 6 Free Picks

The oddsmakers were high on Nashville every step of the way in this series. The Predators were favored before the series started, when the series was tied at 1-1, and even when the series was tied at 2-2. Yes, losing Ryan Johansen to an injury at the end of Game 4 was a big problem, and that might rear its ugly head later down the line. But playing at home has been just a pure gift for the guys in gold, and there's just no way they're coughing up this opportunity to move on to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in their history.

Nashville's three goals were all scored by secondary and tertiary players on the roster from an offensive standpoint, and that's the type of production that has really made this club go in April and May. Bid adieu to Anaheim.

Ducks vs. Predators Game 6 Pick: Play the Preds at

Ducks vs. Predators Game 6 Score Prediction: Predators 3, Ducks 1