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Ducks seek winning ways at home

Face Predators in Game 5, aim to end road teams' dominance

by Robby Stanley / NHL Correspondent


Western Conference First Round

Best-of-7 series is tied 2-2

TV: 6 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, SN, FS-TN, PRIME

The Anaheim Ducks are looking to reverse the trend in Game 5 of the Western Conference First Round against the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

The road team has won every game in the best-of-7 series, which is tied 2-2.

The Ducks were able to get two wins in Nashville to head home with the series even, but they believe their work is just beginning.

"We haven't completed our task," coach Bruce Boudreau told the Ducks website. "We haven't done what we want to do. If we end up losing in six or seven, people are going to still think we didn't dig ourselves out of a hole. The hole, we're still in it as far as I'm concerned."

The Predators want to create better offensive opportunities in Game 5. The Ducks blocked 25 shots in Game 4, and that's something the Predators are looking to adjust to. They know they have to find a way to solve the strong defensive play of Anaheim.

"They're good defensively," Predators forward Mike Fisher said Friday in Nashville. "There's a reason why they were best goals-against in the League. They do a good job. They do a good job defending, and we need to do the same. That being said, I'm sure we'll make some adjustments and try and get some more goals." 

Now that the Ducks have evened the series and will be on home ice Saturday, they hope to have the same sense of desperation as when they were trailing. 

"We have to have the same mindset as we went into Nashville," Boudreau said. "Has to be." 

Predators team scope: Nashville traveled to Anaheim on Friday and did not practice. The players expressed confidence heading into Game 5, knowing they have won two games at Honda Center in this series. "It's a lot," forward Filip Forsberg said. "I think it means a lot to go back there. We know we beat them there. We're just going to try to go out there and do the same thing." Forward Craig Smith left Game 3 with a lower-body injury and did not play in Game 4. He is listed as day-to-day, and his status for Game 5 is unknown. The Predators have scored one goal in the past seven periods and are 1-for-19 on the power play in the series. "We knew it was going to be tough," captain Shea Weber said. "They're the top special teams in the League, and we're going to keep working at it and hopefully get some success."

Ducks team scope: Anaheim will look to continue playing strong defensively. The Ducks have gotten good goaltending from Frederik Andersen, who has allowed one goal starting the past two games. "Just because we won two games, it doesn't mean we've won anything," forward Andrew Cogliano told the Ducks website. "We've gotten ourselves back in the series. If anything, I think we've established how we need to play in order to win and the system that we need to play every night in order to be successful. There's not much that we need to think about other than getting ready to play [Saturday]." Andersen will start Game 5. John Gibson started the first two games.

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