Nashville Predators @ Anaheim Ducks, Game 5 Preview: Starting Over

We're all tied up after 4. I'm not a big advanced stats guy, but my math says the next two wins out of three will take the series.

The Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks have to be feeling pretty pleased after their Game 4 win. In case you didn't notice, the Dirty Birds were outhit, outshot, and out face-off'd for the game by pretty solid margins, and it didn't make a difference. They also shut down every single Preds power play, of which there were many. And while the Dirtiest Bird Corey Perry hasn't done much, Ryan Getzlaf added another goal to give him 3 points in the 4 games so far. They're also getting contributions from randos like Nate Thompson, who's only one goal away from tying his season total in this series.

Yeah, everybody has won two in a row here, and nobody has won at home. The key for the Ducks will be killing off the 6-7 penalties they're going to take tonight, or at a minimum if they're going to trip or slash, make sure they flip their target hard enough off the ice that they pull an embellishment call to offset it. Maybe that sort of thing is a skill...we can't discount it.

The Nashville Predators

I'm frustrated. You're frustrated. We're all frustrated. A 2-0 lead coming home has been squandered and we're all feeling a little anxious heading into tonight. We need the Preds to stay upbeat and rebound here, but there's some issues to address as well so I think we should talk through a little management technique I like to use called The Compliment Sandwich. For those of you unfamiliar, you have a criticism to discuss but you don't want to be too discouraging so you say something nice, then level the criticism, then follow it up with another positive comment. Let's try it:

Compliment: Hey, you won the first two games and that's awesome! Nobody expected you to be in this series, but you proved you can beat this team on the road so you know you can do it again tonight.

Criticism: But the power play is garbage. Going 1 for 19 is totally unacceptable, and there's no way you're going to win the series without cashing in on some of these opportunities. The power play was so frustratingly weak in Game 4 that you turned me into "shoot the puck!" guy, and I hate you for that. Also, can one of you guys PLEASE tell Mike Ribeiro that he doesn't have to ALWAYS pass backwards...he can pass forwards, or hell, even shoot every once in a while. Also, while everybody on that other team is extremely punchable, don't do it. Unless you have a 3 goal lead with a minute left in the game.

Compliment: You guys have the skill and the star power to pull this off. I BELIEVE you can do this. Filip Forsberg? STAR. James Neal? STAR. Roman Josi? STAR. Shea Weber? STAR. (Playoff) Colin Wilson? STAR. And so on. Bring it home, boys.

Where to Watch

5:00 PM CST puck drop from The Honda Center. The game will be on FS-TN locally and CNBC (in the United States) nationally. Local radio: 102.5 The Game.