The Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators have been swinging haymakers at each other for four tough games in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. They’re now down to a best of three series to determine who will move on to the second round of the postseason, and we’re ready to make our hockey picks in NHL betting action on the crucial fifth duel of this series.
Anaheim is carrying all of the momentum into Game 5, especially now that it is back at home. A shorthanded goal by Corey Perry early in the third period in Game 4 broke a 3-3 tie and essentially broke the fighting spirit of the Predators. Nashville was held to just 22 shots for the game, just three of which came in the decisive final stanza. Ray Emery hasn’t been great in net for the Ducks, but at least he is finding a way to win games. He has conceded 10 goals over the course of his three starts and his brief mop up duty in Game 1, and though he hasn’t looked fantastic, he is at least getting the job done. Instead, it’s an offense that has ripped off at least 30 shots in three of the four games in this series and has a tremendous shooting percentage that is doing the job. Anaheim scored nine goals in two games against the Predators in the Music City, and it now has 13 goals for the series. The good news is that Bobby Ryan will be back in the lineup in Game 5 after serving his two game suspension.
The Predators really have to get their composure back in order. Jordin Tootoo was ejected from the game on Wednesday night after getting a misconduct and a game misconduct on the same play late in the third period, while Martin Erat might be sidelined with an upper body injury that he suffered thanks to a brutal hit from Jarkko Ruutu. Pekka Rinne has a GAA that has risen up to 3.75 in this series, virtually double his 2.12 GAA from the regular season, and that’s a really, really bad sign for a team that doesn’t have all that much offense as it is. If there’s good news (and it’s hard to find), it’s that Patric Hornqvist and Mike Fisher are still on an absolute tear. Hornqvist has four goals and six assists since the start of April, including two goals and a helper here in the playoffs. Fisher has scored five goals and six assists since the very end of March, and he already has three goals and two assists in the postseason.
Nashville Predators vs. Anaheim Ducks Pick: The Ducks have won 27 games in front of their faithful at the Honda Center this year, and there is no reason to believe that this game won’t be No. 28. Anaheim really has the momentum rolling once again, and though it can change at the drop of a hat, we don’t see it happening, at least yet. Go with the Ducks -140.
Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.