Anaheim 1 vs. Nashville 3
May 20, 2017
Predators lead series 3-2
The Nashville Predators scored the go-ahead goal with just under nine minutes remaining in regulation to claim a 3-1 victory in Game 5 and a 3-2 series lead in the Western Conference Final. The 3-1 result marked the third consecutive game decided by a single goal and the fourth one-goal game of the series.
The loss for Anaheim snapped its seven-game win streak in Game 5s dating to a 3-2 overtime victory in the 2013 Western Conference Quarterfinal on May 8, 2013 vs. Detroit.
Chris Wagner opened the scoring with his second goal of the playoffs at the 12:46 mark of the second period. Brandon Montour and Jakob Silfverberg each earned assists on the goal. Silfverberg, who has 7-4=11 points in last 12 games, surpassed Chris Pronger (23) for sole possession of seventh on the all-time franchise playoff assists list. In addition, Montour moved into a tie with Pittsburgh's Jake Guentzel for the NHL lead in assists among rookies.
Jonathan Bernier relieved John Gibson to begin the second period, stopping 16-of-18 shots for his second win of the playoffs.
Today's attendance was 17,307, a sellout including standing room only.
The 2017 Western Conference Final now returns to Nashville for Game 6 at Bridgestone Arena on Monday, May 22 (5 p.m. PT).
On the difference of the game
I didn't think our compete level was where it needed to be. They came out and worked harder than us in the second and third periods, and that was the difference in the hockey game.
On passing up shooting opportunities
Any time you get a little bit complacent and you're not doing things properly, you tend to try and do a little more than you should. I know I had a couple opportunities I probably should've directed at the net, but I tried to pass. Those are things I have to change for the next one.
On the game
I don't know if it was so much them, but more us just not moving our feet. We got frustrated and couldn't get the puck in the zone, and it resulted in not a lot of offense for us.
On the compete level
It's on the individual to get yourself prepared and figure out where we are. It's a privilege to be here. We've earned it. You have to take that opportunity and use it to the best of our advantage. We have two must-win games now, so we don't really have a choice whether to bring our effort or not.
On the game
We weren't winning a lot of battles in the defensive zone. We just have to regroup and stay positive.
Head Coach Randy Carlyle
On the game
We didn't seem to execute to the level we've been accustomed to. I thought we did okay for the first half of the game, but we seemed to run out of gas. We got frustrated with their neutral ice. Pekka Rinne made far too many plays with the puck tonight on our dumps. That was a huge factor. We made it pretty easy for them.
On moving forward
We're not going to hang our heads and be doom and gloom. We'll flush this and get ourselves ready. We'll re-energize our group and look forward to playing a better game than we played tonight. We've won in that building before, so it doesn't really matter where we go. We can have success if we play to our capabilities.
On being one game away from the final round
There's still a lot of work. They're not going to quit. They're a good hockey team. This was a really tough game.
On having home ice advantage for Game 6
If you've ever been to Bridgestone, I'm sure you'd figure it's an advantage for sure.
On Gaudreau's play
He played unreal. That's been the story on this team. He's played a little bit in the regular season, but this was his first playoff game and he played like he's been in the league for ten years. Great game.
On being one game away from the Stanley Cup Final
It's good to think about those things. For sure you think about it. We all know it's nothing but Game 6 for us. If we win, we're in the finals. If we lose, we come back here, and we don't want to do that. It is a big game for us. It feels nice to go home and play in front of our fans.
On the Predators' depth during this playoff run
It's been a run. We have more depth than before. When we need to step up, we've done it every time we've been asked to. That's been one of the keys to our success.
Head Coach Peter Laviolette
On his pregame speech
I'll tell you it's not about what I said, but it's about what the players did. We knew we were in a tough spot with the guys that were not with us, and we knew we had a tough opponent in front of us, and our guys threw in a gutsy save for us today.
On playing without Fisher and Johansen
I said gutsy. It's not the first time these guys have played without some of their leadership pieces and players back a couple years ago, although they were much younger and the lines weren't exactly the same. In that Chicago series, we lost Fisher and Weber very early on and I liked the way our young players handled it and responded to it. Today, going in with the same thing happening. Obviously you'd like to have a full and healthy lineup, but that's not what happened. We had guys show up and play extremely hard today and hard fought. This is a tough building to play in against a good team, a veteran team, and we're able to walk away with a win.