Depth Comes Through, Preds Take 3-2 Lead in Western Conference Final

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

The Ducks also were hurting without Rakell, a surprise omission due to a lower-body injury, and Eaves, who missed his ninth straight game.

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Kevin Bieksa (2) battles against Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen, foreground, in the second period of Game 4 of the Western Conference final in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Thursday, May 18, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn.

Aberg, who played 56 games this season in minor league Milwaukee, became the 16th different Predator to score a goal in the playoffs.

Anaheim starting goaltender John Gibson left the game after the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return.

"Obviously, they're really important players for us down the middle, Mike being our captain and Joey being our stud this year", goalie Pekka Rinne told NBC's Brian Boucher after a 32-save performance that marked the eighth time in his 15 playoff starts he has allowed one goal or less.

The NHL announced the fine several hours before Game 5 of the series in Anaheim. "We have won in Nashville before, and there is no reason we can not go into that building and win Monday". Johansen suffered a thigh injury that required surgery and will keep him out for 2-3 months while Fisher appeared to be injured after a run-in with Josh Manson in front of the Anaheim net in Game Four. They might have outscored the Ducks by only one goal, but their efforts were that of a team desperate to overwhelm with aggressiveness and persistent in attempts to capitalize on some undisciplined play by the Ducks.

"At this point, we can't make an excuse", Wagner said.

We get it. These are the playoffs.

It was Forsberg who's shot hit Bernier and kicked out to Aberg who drove to the net and made it 2-1. "With regard to our players' heads, they've been in the right place, I think, through the entire playoffs and they remain in the right place". "After he was done with his speech, we did not do the pregame warmup, we were ready to play the game". He shared the club scoring lead with Arvidsson in the regular season, posting 61 points.

Ritchie now has three goals in the playoffs and two in the last two games of the series after scoring the game victor. F Miikka Salomaki also returned from five games off. F Nic Kerdiles made his third appearance of the postseason for Anaheim in Rakell's absence. The veteran center played an active game in both zones and was solid in the faceoff circle, particularly with a pair of huge defensive zone wins late in the third period.

  • Julie Sanders