National Hockey League fines Ducks captain for 'inappropriate remark'

Anaheim Ducks right wing Chris Wagner (21) celebrates after scoring against the Nashville Predators, during the second period of Game 5 in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, May.

Both teams were missing significant players due to injuries.

If the Predators win Monday, they'll head to the Stanley Cup Final to face the victor of the Eastern Conference Finals series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators (Penguins lead the series 3-2 after a 7-0 win on Sunday). We showed a lot of character. Pekka Rinne made 32 saves for the Predators.

The Ducks landed without forwards Rickard Rakell and Patrick Eaves, and with a questionable status for goalie John Gibson as they rest on the verge of elimination.

Consider that they won Game 5 with their top two centers, Ryan Johansen (compartment syndrome surgery in left thigh) and Mike Fisher (undisclosed injury), on the shelf, and have played the entire series without Craig Smith (undisclosed) and Kevin Fiala (fractured leg).

The battle for Western Conference supremacy moves back to the left coast tonight as we've got the Nashville Predators looking to bring a 3-2 series lead back to Smashville.

"I think Jonathan [Bernier] is more than capable of putting the kind of game together that can get the job done. I also thought Gaudreau was excellent considering how little he played for us".

"I like our first pass, I didn't like our second pass", Carlyle said. "I think there's things that, for whatever reason, haven't gone our way, but we continue to push on".

There has been a clear pattern developing in this series, with the Predators winning the odd-numbered games and Ducks winning the even-numbered matchups to this point. But they won't get any sympathy from Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle, who said injuries are "part of life in the playoffs".

"That's a factor, sure, that we're without Ryan", Laviolette said.

Despite holding a significant advantage at center, the Ducks failed to execute against the Predators and now face the task of winning consecutive games to advance to their first Stanley Cup finals since 2007.

Bernier, who stopped 16 of 18 shots in the 3-1 loss on Saturday, has relieved Gibson in three games in the post-season.

Rakell (lower body) did not accompany his team to Nashville and will not play Monday's Game 6. If the Ducks can pull out the win Monday, Rakell will have an opportunity to return for Wednesday's Game 7 in Anaheim.

The Ducks style in the NHL Playoffs 2017, may be over since they lost game five at home. The last team to beat the Ducks in a Game 5 at Honda Center also was the Preds.

  • Rosalie Stanley