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2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs: WCF Game 5 Recap Predators 3 - Ducks 1; ECF Game 5 Preview Penguins vs Senators

The Predators inch closer to their first-ever trip to the Stanley Cup Final, and the series heads back to Pittsburgh tied at two apiece.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Nashville Predators at Anaheim Ducks Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

As the Conference Finals continue we’ll give you a recap from last night’s game and what to look for in tonight’s action.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Nashville Predators at Anaheim Ducks Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Western Conference Final Game 5

Nashville Predators 3 - Anaheim Ducks 1
Nashville Leads Series 3-2

The Ryan Johansen injury was expected to be a devastating injury that could derail a series, but don't tell that to the Nashville Predators.

Nashville defeated Anaheim 3-1 Saturday night in their first game since losing their leading point producer for the remainder of the postseason.

It was Anaheim that actually broke the ice and took the first lead of the hockey game. North of halfway through period two, Chris Wagner found the back of the net, ending what was 32:46 of scoreless hockey at Honda Center.

That quickly changed as the Predators scored three unanswered goals the rest of the way off the sticks of Colin Wilson, a player who desperately needed to get on the right track offensively, Pontus Aberg, and Austin Watson.

The depth scoring came up huge for Nashville right when they needed it the most.

The Anaheim Ducks are now up against the wall, down 3-2 in this series. The Predators can punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history with a win at home in game six on Monday at 8:00 ET.

- Brett Finger

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Ottawa Senators at Pittsburgh Penguins Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports

Eastern Conference Final Game 5

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Ottawa Senators
3:00 pm ET - PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
NBC and NBCSports app
Series Tied 2-2

  1. Fleury’s Back Back Back, Back Again-gain-gain Matt Murray really put on solid performances in the latter part of Game 3 and his start in Game 4, allowing 3 goals over five periods, give or take. But Marc-Andre Fleury will most likely be back in net in Game 5, and Penguins fans are hoping the home ice advantage will make him a little more comfortable after the Game 3 decimation, where he allowed 4 goals in under 13 minutes. Fleury has always been up and down in the postseason, and thankfully his team is solid enough to earn him a fourth game win rather than go down 3-1.
  2. Get More Power from the Power Play The Senators have been given a number of great chances to capitalize on Penguin penalties, but have yet to convert one this series, including going 0-for-4 Friday night on the power play. While it’s not unusual for a team to go 0-for-11, as the Senators have done this series on power play, in a given stretch of the regular season, the playoffs are a different monster. Unless you’re constantly scoring at even strength, grabbing some man-down goals will be a big asset to any playoff team.
  3. Low on Defense The Penguins are suffering even worse on defense than before, after Chad Ruhwedel left Game 4 with a concussion. That brings the team, by count from the end of Friday night, down to five defensemen. With skaters like Derick Brassard, Bobby Ryan and Jean-Gabriel Pageau , the Senators can easily take advantage and make the limited Pittsburgh winded if they can control the offensive zone this afternoon.

- Jake Crouse