Nashville Predators vs. Anaheim Ducks Game 2
Date and Time: Sunday, May 14, 2017, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
NHL Playoff Odds
Predators vs. Ducks Game 2 TV Coverage: NBC Sports Network
Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals was an odd one for sure. The Predators had the better run of play for most of the game, yet they were down 1-0 early on, looked terrible at the start of the third period, blew a chance midway through the third to score on a long 5-on-3 advantage and still ultimately dominated the overtime period and picked up a much-deserved winning goal.
In that third, Anaheim earned a 10-7 shot advantage (even with all that 5-on-3 time for Nashville), but aside from that, the shots were 39-19 in favor of the Predators. That only begins to tell the tale of just how dominant Nashville truly was in this game in spite of the fact that the score was always tight.
It's amazing how much offense is really generated from the point for Nashville. There weren't any goals scored by defensemen in this game, but you can just tell that Anaheim is already starting to sell out in fear of shots from near the blue line. Mattias Ekholm had a pair of assists from the blue line, while Matt Irwin had a point as well.
But the telling moment came from P.K. Subban. Subban got the primary assist on the game-winning goal to James Neal, but the reason why that whole sequence happened in the dying seconds of the game was because of the defense really selling out to make sure Subban wasn't going to be the one who fired the last rifle. Instead, Subban was heady enough to see a defender sliding his way, and that gave him just enough pause to fake the shot and get the puck over towards the faceoff circle where Neal was standing. His job was easy from there – put the puck on net. Neal did so, and the Predators silenced the Honda Center as a result.
Predators vs. Ducks Game 2 Free Picks
Though it's really hard to argue with anything the Predators did in Game 1, we have a good sense that Anaheim is going to come back and win Game 2 in what should end up being a rather lengthy series.
We're impressed by John Gibson stopping 43-of-46 shots while setting a playoff career high in saves in the process. We're also equally unimpressed with what Pekka Rinne did in his 27-of-29 showing. Rinne clearly had the easier time of the two goalies, and on a night when the Ducks went +9 in the faceoff circle, it was a faceoff defeat that ultimately setup the game-winning goal.
Translation: Luck is bound to be more on Anaheim's side in Game 2. Corey Perry is going to be a man on a mission after a poor Game 1 that was topped off with the fact that the game-winning goal bounced off of him and past Gibson, and when Perry is on his game, he and Ryan Getzlaf make for a deadly combination. That's more than enough for us to trust the Ducks at home to get some of the momentum back in this series.
Predators vs. Ducks Game 2 Pick: Back the Ducks at BookMaker.eu
Predators vs. Ducks Game 2 Score Prediction: Ducks 2, Predators 1