Nashville Predators vs. Anaheim Ducks Game 1 Preview
Where: Honda Center – Anaheim, CA
When: Friday, May 12, 2017 – 9:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NBCSN
NHL News and Predictions
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- TopBet Writers’ 2017 NHL Mock Draft Projections
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Betting on the Nashville Predators (+1.5)
The Predators will be coming off two different series. After an easy sweep of the Boston Bruins in the first round, they had good competition against the St. Louis Blues in the next round. Although they led that matchup 3-1 at one point, it never really felt that they were in control.
Such difference in a series’ flow, however, should help them toughen up and be extra ready against the Ducks, a team they lost to twice in three meetings this season, one of which was via shootout.
Nashville’s offense in the postseason has been mostly powered by the three “Rs,” two of which are Ryan – Ryan Ellis, whose well-rounded play includes four goals and five assists (team-leading nine points), and Ryan Johansen, whose consistent playmaking abilities have him still leading the Preds in assists, and Roman Josi, who has four goals and four assists.
The defense, as mentioned, is doing well, with Pekka Rinne owning a playoff-leading .951 save percentage. Led by Rinne, the Preds have held opponents to two goals or less in eight of their 10 games in this postseason.
Betting on the Anaheim Ducks (-1.5)
Like the Predators, the Ducks also cruised through the first round, only to follow it up with an exhausting, seven-game war with the Edmonton Oilers in the conference semifinals, where they had to come back from a two-zip hole.
The same can also be said about their aforementioned wins over the Preds in the regular season – one was 6-1 rout, and the other was a thrilling, come-from-behind 4-3 win courtesy of a shootout goal from Patrick Eaves.
Nevertheless, we can probably consider the Ducks to have a good amount of confidence in them, since those were two playoff series victories where they showed domination and resiliency.
As always, we should see the team’s array of playmakers shine, particularly Ryan Getzlaf, Rickard Rakell, and Jakob Silfverberg – all three have six or more goals and 11 or more total points in the playoffs.
On defense, meanwhile, John Gibson will look to be better and more consistent. He’s been hot-and-cold in the postseason, as evidenced in the mediocre .908 save percentage. He was 35-for-38 in Game 5 against the Oilers, and then allowed three goals in just six shots in Game 6, and then went smooth again in Game 7 (23 saves, .958 save percentage).
The Ducks take Game 1, 3-2.
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