Predators hoping to advance to first-ever Stanley Cup Final

Doug Mendoza
June 1, 2017

The Predators can close out the series Monday night at Bridgestone Arena when they host Game 6 of the Western Conference Final.

The Anaheim Ducks will continue to be without forwards Rickard Rakell and Patrick Eaves in Game 6 of their Western Conference finals series against the Nashville Predators. To avoid a return trip, they can eliminate the Ducks and clinch their first Stanley Cup Final berth Monday night.

The NHL announced the fine Saturday, shortly before Game 5 against the Nashville Predators. Ekholm then hit Filip Forsberg with a sweet little backhand pass at the top of the circle, Forsberg shoots, Bernier mishandles the puck, giving up the rebound and Pontus Aberg was Johan-on-the-Spot, sweeping the loose puck into the open net, giving the Predators the lead.

It took until the 12:46 mark of the second period for either team to finally break through for a score.

"I just tried to bring my game out there", said Aberg.

With both Fisher and Johansen out, the Predators were down two of their top-3 centres.

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Anaheim jumped out to a 1-0 lead 7:14 into the second period. "I think we're here for a reason as well". So that gives us a lot of confidence in his abilities. "We've seen Freddy a couple times". "He's playing at a very high level right now, and so you have to make things uncomfortable for him while doing everything within the rules of hockey". Defensively, the Nashville Predators are allowing 2.7 goals per game and are killing 80.9 percent of their opponents power plays. In nine playoff games this spring, the 5-foot-11, 196-pound winger has been Nashville's fourth-best possession player with a 5-on-5 CF% 56.87 (per Natural Stat Trick), and he has done it while spending most of his ice time with Sissons and Fisher. Nashville and Anaheim split the first two games of the Western Conference finals.

"I didn't expect that", Aberg, who returned to the game later in the period, said of getting pulled. We've got a job to do tonight. Jonathan Bernier took the loss while stopping 16 of 18 shots after Gibson turned aside all 10 shots he faced. We'll get ourselves ready.

Cogliano pointed to their Game 7 win and said "we're 100% confident that we can come in and win this game". "He had a really good go here in the playoffs, especially, and we're definitely going to miss him". Nashville and Anaheim split the series' first four games.

When asked about the onus to do more in Johansen's absence, Forsberg took the opportunity to praise teammates Aberg and Frederick Gaudreau, who was recalled from the American Hockey League to fill Fisher's spot centering the second line and power-play unit. The duo combined for 65 regular-season goals.

"To have any success against (Rinne), you're going to have to make life hard", Anaheim defenseman Cam Fowler said. Next man up... In my blog yesterday, I wrote that all the Anaheim Ducks needed to do was "show up and play their game" in order to win game five.

Prior to Game 5, Nashville was without it's captain and it's No. 1 centre.

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