Will the Predators upset the Ducks in Game 1? NHL Predictions 5/12/17

That's what ultimately matters. The series is a rematch of their Western Conference quarterfinal matchup last season that the Predators won 4-3.

However, the Predators dominated the proceedings for the remainder of the opening frame, and they mounted an early 12-1 lead in shots on goal that allowed them to knot things at one apiece before the period came to a close. GIbson then shut down the Oilers for the rest of the game making countless saves helping the Ducks finally win a game seven.

The Predators made short work of the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round outscoring them 13-3.

Despite surrendering a fluke goal in the first five minutes of the deciding game, the Ducks controlled play throughout and Nick Ritchie's third period goal sent them to the conference final for the first time since 2013. Losing at home isn't as devastating as it could be, since they're already 4-1 on the road this postseason.

Drake Caggiula had put the Oilers out in front early with his third goal in the last four games, challenged defenceman Shea Theodore as he took the puck out from behind the Ducks' net.

The winger has been fantastic since the start of the first round, and he's now tied with Ryan Getzlaf for the team lead in playoff goals. It was the Predators' ninth straight playoff win in Nashville going back to last postseason.

"I thought we learned from the past", Ryan Getzlaf, the Anaheim captain said. "I think that the scoring chances, if you took the first period out of it, yeah, they had more because of the five-on-three, the full, as I said, minute and a half, but if you'd have took the first period out of it, we were pretty inept in what we were doing, and we were receiving the game, and our goaltender should get full credit for keeping us in the game. We got a well rounded group".

"I don't think anyone gave us a shot that we'd be here right now, one period away from the conference finals, when we started this season", Talbot said.

In order to pull that off, Anaheim will likely have to remedy the power play. Converting on just one of those opportunities could have changed the outcome entirely. The Predators will go for a commanding lead, while the Ducks will try to avoid going to Nashville down 2-0 in the series.

That will need to be fixed in a hurry. There were numerous times throughout the year that we could have folded, not only in the regular season but in the playoffs.

Predators' blue-liners meeting their match? While the Ducks didn't have to travel for Game 7 or tonight's contest, they still shouldn't have fresh legs. Anaheim forwards Logan Shaw (lower body) and Patrick Eaves are also injured. "Like I said I'm 100 per cent now and it felt good on the ice so I'm good to go".

As impeccable as they've been at home, the Preds have to like their chances this series. Then it will simply become a matter of who can grind out a win and move on.

Anaheim was playing in their third overtime game over the past five games and their power play woes continued Friday, going scoreless on those advantages. At one point, Anaheim took back-to-back puck-over-the-glass penalties. John Gibson has shown some signs of being vulnerable.

Neal put a long shot past a sprawled Gibson after a prolonged threat by the Predators that left Anaheim's defense in disarray.

Predators netminder Pekka Rinne has looked phenomenal up to this point.

Entering the playoffs for the first time since an unexpected run to the 2006 Stanley Cup finals, the Oilers defied modest expectations and the constant reminder that their roster was populated mostly by players with little to no playoff experience. Friday was a strong step in the right direction, but it wasn't quite enough.

  • Julie Sanders