A lot is made about home ice advantage in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and for very good reason. The deeper a team gets in the postseason, the more likely it is that they are going to face a team that is as good as, or better than, them, and it is often than home ice advantage that can carry them forward. The Nashville Predators started this postseason as the #8 seed in the Western Conference, which meant home ice advantage was something that had to be earned by getting wins on the road.
They have done that brilliantly, and have backed it up by only dropping one game in their own building. The bad news is the game that they lost was one that could have put them on the brink of a Stanley Cup Final appearance, going down 3-2 in Game 4 of their series with the Anaheim Ducks. The series now shifts back to California for Game 5, with the Predators knowing that they need at least one more win on the road if they are to move on. That crucial game I set for Saturday night in Anaheim.
In Depth Analysis On The Nashville Predators At Anaheim Ducks Game 5 NHL Winning Favorites
When: Saturday, May 20 at 7:15 PM EST
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim
Live Stream: NHL.TV
NHL Odds: Anaheim Ducks -1½ (+265)
Why bet on the Nashville Predators
The Predators must be thinking about the opportunity that they let slip in Game 4. They found themselves down 2-0 in that one, but scored 2 late goals to force the game into OT. The momentum seemed to be very much on their side, and with the prospect of a 3-1 series lead dangled like a delicious carrot in front of their noses, it seemed certain that they would go on and win. Alas, it was the Ducks who came up with the OT winner, and now Nashville are going to need to find a way to pick themselves up from what could be a back-breaking loss. The Predators have been good on the road during this postseason, so there is still a solid chance they could come away with the win.
Why bet on the Anaheim Ducks
It’s not being overly dramatic to say that the Corey Perry goal in OT of Game 4 may very well have saved the series for the Anaheim Ducks. After all, how would they be able to bounce back after gassing a lead late to go down 3-1? As it is, they are still very much alive, and it has to be said that they are now the favorites to move on, with 2 of the final 3 games in this series set to be played in their own building. That said, the Ducks have been a little fragile on home ice in the last two rounds of the postseason, and have already lost one to the Predators at home.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
This could well prove to be the game that decides the series, as the winner will take a real stranglehold. I like the Predators to bounce back and get the win on the road.