Pontus Aberg's goal puts Predators past Ducks 3-1 in Game 5

Sheri Evans
May 22, 2017

The Ducks held a 1-0 lead in the second period, but the Predators scored three unanswered goals to close out the game.

Despite playing without two of their top three centers, the Nashville Predators skated out of Anaheim with a 3-1 Game 5 victory Saturday night in the Western Conference Final. This comes shortly before Game 5 against the Nashville Predators.

The bottom line on Game 5 for Pearn was that the Predators found a way under hard circumstances, and they did it by returning to the foundation of what has made them successful in the playoffs. The Predators will have an opportunity to clinch their first Stanley Cup finals berth. But they won't get any sympathy from Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle, who said injuries are "part of life in the playoffs".

Standing in their way? Anaheim, frustrated with the home loss that put the team on the brink of elimination, let their emotions run wild as separate fights ensued.

"Obviously we know what's at stake", said Wilson.

Game 6 is Monday night in Nashville.

"Whatever 20 guys we have going out there, we're fully confident in the group we have going", Watson said.

That leaves it up to the Predators to handle business on the ice. We've got a job to do tonight. Afterward, doctors determined Johansen needed emergency surgery.

NOTES: Nashville scratched C Ryan Johansen, C Mike Fisher, D Anthony Bittetto, RW P.A. Parenteau, C Craig Smith, D Brad Hunt, LW Harry Zolnierczyk, G Marek Mazanec and LW Vladislav Kamenev. Forget last goal wins.

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NOTES: C Frederick Gaudreau made his Stanley Cup playoff debut for Nashville, and veteran C Vern Fiddler returned from a two-game absence.

Rinne, who shut out the Blackhawks twice in Chicago to open this postseason, played arguably his best game yet. Pontus Aberg scored the game-winning goal with 8:59 remaining in regulation. "It's awesome. It's unbelievable".

Nothing can be taken for granted in this series. And it's up to us to score more goals than they do. Down 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, there is no turning back now.

Ergo, winning Game 5 is extremely important for the Anaheim Ducks.

"That's my responsibility to understand that there are eyes and ears on us all the time", Getzlaf said.

Anaheim is dealing with the injury bug a little more now as well. And now they will be without Ryan Johansen for the rest of the Stanley Cup playoffs due to injury. Neither traveled to Nashville. Bernier entered the game in the second period after starter John Gibson left with a lower-body injury.

He was in the right spot to collect a rebound from a Filip Forsberg shot, diving around Jonathan Bernier to slide the puck into the net just past the midway point of the third period. He had registered only one assist in eight games this postseason and appeared in only 15 career regular-season games.

The Ducks would have no choice but to entrust their season's future to Bernier, 28, who has been primarily a backup with the Ducks, Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs during his seventh full seasons in the National Hockey League.

"I had no idea it happened", Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm said.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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