After defeating the Anaheim Ducks by a score of 3-1 on Saturday night, the Nashville Predators are one win away from their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final.
For the Ducks, they suffered a double-whammy in Game 5. Not only did they drop the game, but they also lost starting goalie John Gibson to a lower-body injury.
Gibson told head coach Randy Carlyle that he'll be good to go for Game 6 on Monday night, but that's far from a sure thing at this point.
Ducks forward Rickard Rakell was a surprise scratch ahead of this game. Like Gibson, Rakell is also dealing with a lower-body injury. He's considered day-to-day, according to Carlyle. There's no guarantee he'll be available in Monday's elimination game either.
PREDATORS 3 DUCKS 1
Predators lead 3-2
Ducks forward Chris Wagner opened the scoring at the 12:46 mark of the second period. It was his first goal since Game 3 of Anaheim's second-round series against Edmonton. He has two goals in 16 games this postseason.
Brandon Montour picked up the primary assist on Wagner's goal. Montour now has seven assists and a plus-13 rating in 16 postseason games.
Colin Wilson got the ball rolling for the Preds late in the second period, as he tied the game at one with his second goal of the playoffs.
Pontus Aberg's first career playoff goal proved to be the game-winner in Game 5. Aberg finished the game with a plus-1 rating and two shots on goal in 11:14 of ice time.
Austin Watson put the game to bed with an empty-net goal at the 19:12 mark of the third frame. After failing to score in his first 10 playoff games in 2017, Watson has found the back of the net twice in five contests.
As I mentioned before, Gibson left the game after the first period. He turned aside all 10 shots he faced in the opening 20 minutes.
Backup goalie Jonathan Bernier entered the game in relief of Gibson, and he allowed two goals on 18 shots in the defeat. Bernier has a 1-2 record with a 2.91 goals-against-average and a .905 save percentage during these playoffs.
Pekka Rinne gave up the game's first goal, but he managed to shut the door on the Ducks the rest of the way. Rinne has now given up one goal in two of his last three outings in the series. He has an 11-4 record with a 1.62 goals-against-average and a .942 save percentage this spring.