Predators vs. Ducks Preview

nashville predators vs anaheim ducks nhl playoffs nhl odds nhl betting information nhl preview pekka rinne corey perry

ANAHEIM, CA (AP) - Corey Perry would just like to point out that somewhere underneath the allegedly dirty hits, the suspensions and the press-conference posturing, there's quite a memorable playoff series going on between the Anaheim Ducks and the Nashville Predators.

View Current Anaheim Ducks Odds

A 2-2 series with clutch goals, wild momentum swings and a nasty edge - which is just the way the Ducks like their hockey.

Anaheim and the Predators will begin the best-of-three finish to their first-round brawl Friday night with Game 5 at Honda Center.

According to NHL odds and oddsmakers from online sports book have made the Ducks -140 money line favorites for Friday's game against the Predators. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 58% of more than 213 bets for this game have been placed on the Ducks -140.

``There's been some big hits, and you've got to fight for every inch on the ice,'' said Perry, the NHL postseason scoring leader with eight points through four games. ``They're a team that likes to play the body, and so do we. It's a great physical series. It's playoff hockey.''

Another game led to another suspension Thursday, with Ducks left wing Jarkko Ruutu banned from Game 5 after colliding with Martin Erat during Anaheim's series-evening 6-3 victory in Game 4. Ruutu is a minor contributor to the Ducks, but the Predators lost a much more valuable player: Erat was Nashville's co-scoring leader, but he didn't make the trip to Orange County for Game 5.

The hit led to another round of verbal spin by both coaches. Anaheim's Randy Carlyle called the NHL's criteria for discipline ``mind-boggling.''

``To me, it's absurd that there's even mention of a hearing when it's a shoulder-to-shoulder hit, and a guy passes the puck,'' said Carlyle, who wondered why the NHL didn't investigate Jordin Tootoo's cross-check to the head of Anaheim defenseman Toni Lydman in the final minute of Game 4.

Nashville coach Barry Trotz saw a different play - and an additional reason to lament the collision.

``It was a late hit,'' Trotz said. ``To me, the Ducks are the ones whining and complaining that they are the ones being targeted or whatever, but they have had a guy suspended, late hit, we lose a good player. Ruutu didn't even dress (earlier in the series). He's a 5-minute player for them, and we lose a top player.''

While both teams lost a player for Game 5, the Ducks are getting a big contributor back.

High-scoring left wing Bobby Ryan sat out the Ducks' last two games in Nashville under suspension for stomping on Jonathon Blum's foot in the waning moments of Game 2. Ryan scored two goals that night, and he's well-rested after two nights of watching Anaheim from a luxury box.

So did the suspension change anything about Ryan, who has never had a reputation for dirty play?

``I don't think it can,'' said Ryan, a 34-goal scorer in the regular season. ``Obviously, I've had nothing like this before, being called a dirty player. I won't change a thing - just be a little more careful not to stomp on anybody's foot. I'm just glad the guys won (Game 4) to take some pressure off the situation.''

Ryan is expected to resume his role on Anaheim's top line with Perry and captain Ryan Getzlaf, although Carlyle is still contemplating his lineup after rookie Brandon McMillan excelled on that wing in Nashville. The Ducks went straight from the airport to Honda Center for practice Thursday, although Getzlaf and goalie Ray Emery were among the players who did little or nothing.

The Predators worked out before traveling Thursday, hoping to shake off the shock of a rough finish to Game 4. Nashville twice rallied from deficits to tie it heading to the third period, but Perry's short-handed goal set off a three-goal avalanche and chased Pekka Rinne, reducing the Predators' formidable goalie to a spectator.

``You take this kind of game personally a little bit,'' Rinne said. ``You don't feel good about the game ending like that, but at the same time, you have no other choice. It's the best time of the year, and you just have to respect this situation and bounce back.''

The Predators' problems this season have been mostly related to an often-punchless offense, yet they've scored at least three goals in every game of the series. Instead, Nashville's formidable defense has struggled to keep up with the Ducks' star-studded offense, which has scored 14 goals in the past three games.

Nashville is doing its best not to think about last season's playoff experience in the franchise's fifth consecutive first-round series defeat. The Predators had a 2-1 series lead over Stanley Cup champion Chicago, but lost Game 4 in discouraging shutout fashion - and then blew a lead with 13.6 seconds left in an eventual overtime loss in Game 5.

``Now it's time to really show that what kind of group of guys that we are,'' Rinne said. ``It was the same situation last year up in Chicago. I think we can go back and little bit and learn from there.''

Bet On Predators vs. Ducks Odds

Want More From Follow us on Twitter and Facebook or Subscribe to Our News Feeds!

Recent NHL Discussions

How many more are like this on Wed, Mar 2021 by Surfer
Saturday Sharp Action NHL on Sat, Jan 2021 by Jimmythegreek
NHL STARS on Wed, Sep 2020 by iceman17
Chicago Blackhawks on Sat, Aug 2020 by Surfer

NHL Predictions & Picks

Thumbnail Rangers vs. Avalanche Prediction & Odds The Rangers have won back-to-back games, including an upset on Wednesday night in Vegas over the Golden Knights. Will New York make it three in a row when it...
Thumbnail Jets vs. Blues Prediction & Odds The Jets are on a good run and have owned the Blues in previous meetings between the two teams, but is Winnipeg the smart play at 8:00 p.m. ET on...
Thumbnail Rangers vs. Golden Knights Prediction The Rangers are coming off a come-from-behind victory over the Blues on Monday night but are underdogs Wednesday in Vegas where they’ll take on the Golden...
Thumbnail Red Wings vs. Lightning Prediction The Lightning are heavily favored on Tuesday night against the Red Wings at 7:00 p.m. ET, but is there betting value to be found in the total? The number currently sits...
Thumbnail Blues vs. Rangers Prediction & Odds The Blues continue to look for consistency this season, which might be difficult when they visit the Rangers at 7:00 p.m. ET.

NHL Headlines