Battle of attrition as Ducks try to stay alive vs. Predators

After last night's 3-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks, the Nashville Predators are one win away from their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance. Goaltender John Gibson left Saturday's game after the first period with a lower-body injury and will be re-assessed at Monday morning's skate.

Two days after edging the Preds in a 3-2 overtime clash, Anaheim did enough early in Game 5 to take a 1-0 lead, staying even with Nashville in terms of first-period shots and faceoffs, then scoring on Rinne thanks to a putback from Corey Wagner.

As many have already noted, the quality of hockey between the Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks as they exchange proverbial haymakers in their Western Conference Final has been top class.

Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf has been fined thousands of dollars for making an "inappropriate remark" during Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.

"Definitely as a father, as somebody that takes a lot of pride in this game and the respect for it, it's tough to see somebody refer to it as (a gay slur)".

"A situation like that, where I'm on the bench by myself, frustration set in", Getzlaf said.

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If Gibson can't play, Jonathan Bernier will make the first playoff start of his career. "For guys like Freddie Gaudreau to come out and play the way that he did, for guys to just step up and maybe take on some more minutes, that was a huge win for us tonight".

That leaves it up to the Predators to handle business on the ice. He also had two goals and four points in seven playoff games. He scored a combined 32 goals this season for Dallas and the Ducks. The Ducks are averaging 2.7 goals per game and are scoring on 18.7 percent of their power play opportunities.

Johansen sustained a season-ending thigh injury in Game 4 that required surgery with an expected recovery time of two to three months.

"They're never out of the game, out of a series, so yeah, got to make sure we're prepared", Josi said. "We're capable of winning tomorrow".

“I think we're very deep up front, ” said Predators forward Colin Wilson.

"We lost a pretty good player in Patrick Eaves", Carlyle said of the forward, who suffered a lower-body injury in Game 3 against the Oilers in the second round. But we're a group that has gotten really close this year, I think much closer than the previous years in terms of how we've competed and how bad we want to win. The duo combined for 65 regular-season goals. 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.

  • Tabitha Byrd