Predators left surprised, determined by Johansen's injury

May 22, 2017, 15:27
Predators left surprised, determined by Johansen's injury

Johansen was hurt at an unspecified point in the Ducks' 3-2 overtime victory Thursday in Game 4, which evened a tense, physical series. He has been sidelined since April 30. In Game 5, his bid for the victor generated a rebound for right winger Pontus Aberg, who lit the lamp to put Nashville one win away from its first Stanley Cup finals appearance.

Standing in their way?

Based on how physical Game 5 was, the Predators and Ducks were lucky they didnt lose any more players.

"I didn't expect that", Aberg, who returned to the game later in the period, said of getting pulled.

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Prior to Game 5, Nashville was without it's captain and it's No. 1 centre. Game 6 goes Monday night in Nashville. The Predators have the chance to claim it for the first time in franchise history and not touch it, as has become custom for the Western Conference champions to signify that's not the trophy they want to carry around the ice. I thought he played really well for us. Fisher has an undisclosed injury. We'll try to keep them quiet as much as possible.

Colin Wilson scored a power-play goal with:41 seconds left in the second-period for the Predators. The last team to beat the Ducks in a Game 5 at Honda Center also was Nashville. Rinne has shut these Ducks down twice in the last three games and is fresh off possibly his best performance of the playoffs yet. He made 32 saves and aggressively played the puck to help hold off the Ducks. "He's playing at a very high level right now, and so you have to make things uncomfortable for him while doing everything within the rules of hockey".

Nothing can be taken for granted in this series.

Two days later, the Predators took a 2-1 lead. Veteran defenseman Kevin Bieksa knows how to tackle this latest test.

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"We're capable of winning".

"That's a factor, sure, that we're without Ryan", Laviolette said. "We have the team, and we're against the wall right now facing a little bit of adversity". He's been dealing with a lower-body injury and may continue to miss games after Game 6, should Anaheim be able to extend its season. Neither traveled to Nashville.

Anaheim Ducks forward Rickard Rakell will miss Game 5 of the Western Conference final against the visiting Nashville Predators on Saturday with a lower-body injury. He had registered only one assist in eight games this postseason and appeared in only 15 career regular-season games.

The Ducks rebounded from losing Game 3 by taking a day off in Nashville to shoot pool and throw darts. I don't think you can sit back and just hope that you make it to another game. But they won't get any sympathy from Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle, who said injuries are "part of life in the playoffs".

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