Ducks face 3-2 series deficit after Game 5 home loss to Nashville

May 21, 2017

Colin Wilson tied the game late in the second period and Pontus Aberg scored the go-ahead goal with 8:59 remaining in regulation to help the Predators take a 3-2 series lead against the Ducks and move within one win of reaching the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history.

"I didn't think our first power play gave us any energy, but after that, I thought the next power play we had all kinds of looks," said Ducks' Coach Randy Carlyle.  "We had chances. And we didn't have any finish."

The Predators, who began play in 1998-99 and are competing in their 10th postseason, improved to 11-4 in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs and 11-7 in 18 all-time postseason meetings against the Ducks (7-3 at ANA).

Nashville became the first road team to win a Game 5 in Anaheim since the 2011 Conference Quarterfinals, snapping the Ducks’ seven-game winning streak in such contests. The Predators posted a 4-3 overtime victory in that contest to take a 3-2 series lead before earning a series-clinching win on home ice in Game 6.

The Predators own a 3-2 series lead for the third time in franchise history and have won Game 6 in each of the two previous instances – the 2011 Conference Quarterfinals vs. ANA and the 2017 Second Round vs. STL.

Aberg, a second-round selection (37th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft, notched his first career playoff goal (1-1—2 in 11 GP). The 23-year-old Stockholm native scored in his third career regular-season game on Nov. 17, 2016 at OTT and had 1-1—2 in 15 contests in 2016-17.

Wilson (13-11—24) scored his 13th career postseason goal (all w/ NSH) to move into a tie for the most goals in franchise playoff history and within four points of David Legwand (13-15—28) and Shea Weber (13-15—28) for the most career playoff points in a Predators uniform.

Pekka Rinne made 32 saves to improve to 11-4 in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs (1.62 GAA, .942 SV%, 2 SO), including an 8-0 record when allowing fewer than two goals.

"I thought we did it okay for the first half of the game, but then we seemed to run out of gas. We got frustrated with their neutral ice," said Carlyle. "I think Pekka Rinne made far, far too many plays on the ice tonight with our dumps. I think that was a huge factor because we'd throw it in, and he made it pretty easy for them in a lot of situations where they cheated people back and moved the puck."

When teams are tied 2-2 in a best-of-seven series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the winner of Game 5 holds an all-time series record of 198-54, including a 5-0 mark this postseason.

The Western Conference Final, which has been tied or within one goal for 89% of total playing time (284:38 of 319:49), has seen the winning team overcome a deficit (of any margin) in four of five contests – including all three victories by the Predators.

The Predators earned their fifth come-from-behind win this postseason, marking the 31st comeback victory overall in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs (77 GP, 40.3%). The NHL record for comeback wins in a postseason was set in 1990, when 45 of 85 contests (52.9%) saw the winning team erase a deficit of at least one goal.

Nashville has not lost consecutive games since the regular season when they lost to the Blues and Islanders on April 2 and April 4, respectively.

Predators forward Filip Forsberg collected an assist to extend his point streak to six games (4-2—6). Forsberg has 7-6—13 in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs (15 GP), tied for the most points in a single postseason in franchise history.  The Predators have had 10 different players score a game-winning goal this postseason.

Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf was fined $10,000 for directing an inappropriate remark toward another on-ice participant in Game 4.

SATURDAY’S RESULT (Home Team in Caps)

Nashville 3, ANAHEIM 1 – NSH leads 3-2

SUNDAY’S ACTION (All Times Eastern)

Ottawa @ Pittsburgh, series tied 2-2, 3 p.m., CBC, TVAS, NBC

By Staff of and news services

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