NHL playoffs betting (May 23): Predators to send Ducks home for summer

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Updated: May 22, 2017

No. 8 seeds in the Western Conference, the Nashville Predators can advance to the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history with victory over the Anaheim Ducks in tonight’s Game 6 at the Bridgestone Arena; playoff record: 12-7-19, -2.65 units; overall record: 248-28-203, +54.53 units

Western Conference Finals, game 6: Anaheim Ducks @ Nashville Predators (Nashville lead 3-2)
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN
When: Tuesday, May 23, 10am (AET)
Prices: Anaheim $2.35, Nashville $1.79

Confirmed bet: Nashville WIN NT (one unit @ $1.91)

TIW says: The body count is climbing with each new contest in this bruising NHL Western Conference finals series but the Ducks may buck this trend by naming John Gibson in goal for tonight Game 6 in Nashville. The Anaheim goaltender took part in the morning skate, leading coach Randy Carlyle to express optimism about his availability. Gibson left after the first period of Game 5 because of a lower-body injury. Back-up Jonathan Bernier allowed two goals on 18 shots in the Ducks’ 3-1 loss to the Predators in Anaheim. Gibson (pictured below) is 9-5 with a 2.59 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in 16 postseason games.

However, the Ducks will have to go without 30-goal scorers Rickard Rakell and Patrick Eaves, who both remained home in California. Anaheim lost the first two games of the Western Conference second round series against the Edmonton Oilers and won in seven games, and have tied the conference final twice before when trailing. It was at Bridgestone where Anaheim played their best game of the series in Game 4, outshooting Nashville 14-2 in the first period and 36-33 for the game. But that was with a healthy Rakell, whose blistering slapshot initiated scoring that night.

 

The Predators can advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time with a win here. They are 6-1 at home during the Playoffs with the only setback coming in that 3-2 overtime defeat to the Ducks in Game 4. The Predators can be excused for having zero sympathy for the Ducks’ injury issues. They won Game 5 with their top two centers, Ryan Johansen (compartment syndrome surgery in left thigh) and Mike Fisher (undisclosed injury), on the sidelines, and have played the entire series without Craig Smith (undisclosed) and Kevin Fiala (fractured leg).

It’s not known if Fisher or Smith will be available for tonight’s clash, but Nashville haven’t exactly looked like a team in crisis. Pontus Aberg scored the winning goal just over midway through the third period in Game 4 for his first playoff goal, while Frederick Gaudreau played well defensively and had a winning record on face-offs, going 10-4 in his first playoff match. Gaudreau became the team’s 18th forward to play in the postseason, tying an NHL record. Aberg and Austin Watson, who sealed the 3-1 win with an empty-netter in the last minute, are the 16th and 17th Predators to score goals in the playoffs.

 

Most recent result: 0-1-0, no change

Pittsburgh Penguins @ Ottawa Senators +5 (one unit @ $1.87) PUSH (3-2)

 

 

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to Pinnacle (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Bets void if listed goaltenders are changed. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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