Cody McLeod, Vernon Fiddler and Miikka Salomaki - Nashville's fourth line struggled (4 for, 10 against, 28.6 CF%, 3-4 scoring chances) and was on for the only goal against in a 3-1 win at Anaheim.
Rookie Freddie Gaudreau played his first ever National Hockey League playoff game on Saturday after Ryan Johansen and Fisher were both out with injuries. Nashville leaned heavily on stalwart goalie Pekka Rinne and got barely enough offense to survive, with Colin Wilson scoring the tying goal late in the second period and Austin Watson adding an empty-netter.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Nashville Predators have confirmed center Ryan Johansen needed emergency surgery because of an acute compartment syndrome in his left thigh.
Nashville had tied the score at 1 on Wilson's power-play goal, his second goal of the playoffs, at 19:19 of the second period.
"We're capable of winning. I also thought Gaudreau was excellent considering how little he played for us".
Puck drop is set for 7:15 p.m. Monday. A victory by the Predators will put them in the Stanley Cup final for the first time; a victory by the Ducks will result in a Game 7 being played Wednesday at Honda Center. Coach Randy Carlyle gave Ducks fans some hope after Game 5 that Eaves would return as he was upgraded to day-to-day but Sunday was a different story.
The Ducks style in the NHL Playoffs 2017, may be over since they lost game five at home.
Prior to Game 5, Nashville was without it's captain and it's No. 1 centre.
Johansen had one goal and three assists in four games against the Ducks, who deployed their shutdown defensive line centered by Ryan Kesler against Nashville's top line. "Again, we're always juggling numbers", said Laviolette. "I knew I had to be good if we wanted to win these games".
Jonathan Bernier took over for Gibson and stopped 16 shots in his first appearance in almost two weeks for the Ducks, calling it a "weird situation". Wilson made the Ducks pay, slipping a hard backhand around Bernier for his second goal of the playoffs and the 13th of his Predators postseason career, tying four other Preds for the franchise lead. He's a guy in my opinion who could have been playing on our team all year.
"I didn't expect that", Aberg, who returned to the game later in the period, said of getting pulled. For us, the first couple of rounds was fairly smooth sailing.
The Ducks' goal was scored by Chris Wagner. Bernier stopped 16 of the 18 shots he faced in Game 5 and has relieved Gibson on two other occasions this postseason, most notably in a victorious first-round comeback win over Calgary.