The Nashville Predators jetted out west to Anaheim on Friday afternoon ahead of a pivotal Game Five against the Ducks on Saturday with their playoff series all even at 2-2. Home ice advantage has been non-existent in the Western Conference First Round series between the two clubs, with the Preds taking the first two games in Anaheim, only to see the Ducks follow suit in Nashville.
Now it’s Anaheim who has won two games in a row, outscoring the Preds 7-1 during that stretch. The Predators felt better about their effort in Game Four – a 4-1 loss – than they did in Game Three, but the Ducks have shown their stinginess on defense, limiting chances and blocking shots. In fact, the Ducks got in the way of 25 Nashville shots in Game Four, something the club will look to rectify in Game Five by seeking different ways to create chances in the offensive zone.
“We have to continue to keep moving and try to find those areas to get it through,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “We can have the ability to make a difference on the scoreboard, and that’s a lot [of blocked shots]… We have to find a way to get it through past their sticks and get some more pucks that actually get to the net.”
“They’re good defensively; there’s a reason why they had the best goals against in the League,” center Mike Fisher said. “They do a good job defending, and we need to do the same. That being said, I’m sure we’ll make some adjustments to try to get some more goals.”
With the series tied 2-2, things are at a best-of-three at this point. While the Preds don’t want to discount anything that’s happened up until now, they also know only one team will win two more contests, something they’ve done twice already in Saturday’s location.
“We know we can play well in their building and we have to put these last two games behind us and worry about Game Five,” Fisher said. “All that matters is that game coming up and being ready and prepared and just having the game of our lives. We know we’re going to be facing a team that’s going to be fired up, and we just have to do all we can do to prepare for it.”