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Predators vs. Ducks Game 5 Picks

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The Anaheim Ducks found a way to beat both themselves and the Nashville Predators on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena. Their overtime victory probably saved their season and puts them back in some degree of control of the Western Conference Finals. There's a lot of work to do in what is now a best-of-three series, and that work starts on Saturday night in the obviously pivotal Game 5 at the Pond.

Nashville Predators vs. Anaheim Ducks Game 5
Date and Time
: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 7:15 p.m. ET
Location: Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
NHL Playoff Odds
Predators vs. Ducks Game 5 TV Coverage: NBC

The Ducks did everything they could to make sure they blew their 2-0 lead on Thursday night. Facing the wrath of arguably the best crowd in the NHL, Anaheim took four penalties in a span of just 7:20 in the third period. Nashville didn't score a single goal on any of the four penalties, including a stretch of over a minute and a half of 5-on-3 hockey, but the crowd was back into the game for sure.

P.K. Subban and Filip Forsberg netted the two goals that sent the game into overtime, and it was perhaps a bit ironic that the man who took the first rather foolish penalty, Corey Perry, who finished the job and silenced Bridgestone Arena. Perry's shot from an odd angle outside the faceoff circle deflected off of Subban and behind Pekka Rinne. That's now three playoff overtime goals this season for Perry, who has suddenly turned into Mr. Clutch for the Ducks.

Key Stat

29 – The number of shots the Predators had in the second and third periods combined in Game 4.

By all accounts, Anaheim looked to be in deep trouble for much of this game. It dominated the first period by outshooting Nashville 14-2, and from that point forward, it was crunched 32-23 in shots.

The Predators had some troubles for sure getting into the offensive zone, but when they did (and when they were at full strength), they were doing their thing, tossing as much as they could at John Gibson. To his credit, Gibson was fantastic in Game 4, and he was a deserving winner, but there were still moments that had us wondering if he was really capable of leading a team to the Stanley Cup Finals with as out of touch as he seemed to be.

Want bizarre? Check out the early stages of the overtime period when he had his stick knocked away from him and he literally left his net with the puck behind him. That could have easily been disastrous.

Predators vs. Ducks Game 5 Free Picks

The guys who deserve all the credit for the Ducks are the superstars of the roster. Sure, Perry took the first penalty, but he was aggressive as could be in the overtime period and earned his winner. Ryan Getzlaf spent a ton of time killing penalties in the third and took some rocket shots off various body parts that kept Gibson clean. Cam Fowler was the best defenseman on the ice on this day as well, and that's saying something considering the fact that Subban scored the goal that started the Nashville rally.

The Ducks have lived to tell about it all, and they seem to have figured a few things out defensively in the neutral zone. We have a hunch that's going to translate over now that the two teams are going back to Anaheim, and merely getting the Predators out from underneath their ridiculous crowd should prove to be a huge boon for the Pacific Division winners. Stars will be stars, and regardless as to how well the Predators are playing as a team, they just don't have those major power forwards like Anaheim does. That'll be the difference in Game 5, though surely, that won't be the last chapter of this novel with two games left to be played.

Predators vs. Ducks Game 5 Pick: Lay the Lumber with Anaheim at BookMaker.eu
Predators vs. Ducks Game 5 Score Prediction: Ducks 3, Predators 1

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