The Nashville Predators are the NHL betting favourites to defeat the Anaheim Ducks tonight and proceed to their first ever Stanley Cup Final. The Preds took a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference Finals with a 3-1 win on Saturday. Nashville head coach Peter Laviolette moved rookie left winger Pontus Åberg to the top line with Filip Forsberg and Colton Sissons Ryan Johansen and Mike Fisher being injured in the previous game. The Swede repaid the confidence placed in him by scoring the go-ahead goal at 11:01 of the third period.
Time: 8:00 PM
Venue: Bridgestone Arena
Sportsbook NHL betting odds for fans who bet on hockey:
Ducks +1½ (-255) 5 (-120) +125
Predators -1½ (+215) 5 (EV) -145
Recent form: The Ducks have won 14 of their last 20 games and six of their last eight on the road. Anaheim opened the score for the third consecutive game by way of Chris Wagner’s goal at 12:46 of the second period, but the Ducks have been outscored 6-0 in the third period of all three games.
News: Goalkeeper John Gibson left the game in the first period – and was replaced by Jonathan Bernier who made 16 saves on 18 shots – but said he would play tonight, per head coach Randy Carlyle. “That’s maybe adrenaline, or whatnot, flowing tonight, “Carlyle said. “We’ll do an assessment tomorrow and we’ll do an assessment once we get to Nashville on Monday morning and see where that takes us.” Anaheim played without injured forward Rickard Rakell who led the Ducks with 33 regular season goals. Rakell is on a day to day basis.
Trends for fans who bet on hockey: The Ducks have covered the spread in eight of their last nine road games and in four of their last six visits to Nashville. The NHL betting total has gone under in two of Anaheim’s last three games.
Recent form: The Preds have won 11 of their last 14 games and six of their last seven at home. The team that has won game 5 to take a 3-2 lead in a best-of-7 series is 198-54 in league history, including 5-0 this season.
News: Nashville saw their home game postseason streak come to a bitter end on Thursday, but the Predators are hopeful they can punch their ticket to the finals at the Bridgestone Arena. “We all know it’s nothing but Game 6 for us,” goalie Pekka Rinne said. “If we win, we’re in the [Cup Final]. If we lose, we come back [to Anaheim], and we don’t want to do that.” Ryan Johansen underwent emergency surgery on his left thigh and will miss the rest of the playoffs.
Trends for fans who bet on hockey: The Predators have covered the spread in 11 of the last 15 overall games but only in one third of their last six versus the Ducks. The NHL betting total has gone under in six of Nashville’s last nine games and under in 80% of their last home games.