Predators looking to clinch series on home ice Monday

It has turned into a battle of attrition in the Western Conference Finals. Forsberg has four goals and two assists in a six-game point streak. It's been more like last man standing. Anaheim was missing its leading goal-scorer and big-name trade deadline rental. That was what happened on the game-winner.

The Nashville Predators took another step towards the Stanley Cup Finals with a 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.

The Ducks are 58-28 in their last 86 Monday games, 27-13 in their last 40 games playing on 1 days rest and 6-2 in their last 8 road games.

Anaheim players suffered some injuries.

That almost happened with Aberg. Aberg was pulled off the ice by concussion spotters shortly thereafter and didn't return to the game.

Then, just past the midpoint of the third period, left winger Pontus Aberg put the Predators ahead.

In the end, Nashville's depth was better than Anaheim's.

The Nashville Predators don't have their top center, and their captain remains day to day. Bernier stopped 16 of the 18 shots he faced in Game 5 and has relieved Gibson on two other occasions this postseason, most notably in a victorious first-round comeback win over Calgary.

"I think Bernier has proven to us and to the hockey world that he's a quite capable goaltender", said Carlyle, who had Bernier for two years in Toronto. "We know we can count on him". He was a big part of our team and it's a tough break for him. We showed a lot of character.

"At this point, we can't make an excuse", Wagner said.

The longer this series goes, the nastier it is getting.

Coach Peter Laviolette said Monday that he felt comfortable using Gaudreau at center even though Gaudreau mostly played on the wing for the Predators' American Hockey League farm team in Milwaukee. It seemed like everyone on the ice was holding a grudge, if not a death wish. Moments before he made a Bobby Orr-like leap and scored the biggest goal of his career, the 23-year-old had lost a tooth after being driven face-first onto the ice. But regardless of who is in Anaheim's line-up, the Predators are not expecting the Ducks to surrender easily. The Ducks and Predators have been tied or within a goal for 284 minutes, 38 seconds of the 319:49 played. It was his first National Hockey League game since January 8. Seconds before he scored, Aberg was upended during a scramble.

It was Forsberg who's shot hit Bernier and kicked out to Aberg who drove to the net and made it 2-1.

Watson's empty-net goal at 19:12 of the third period completed the scoring.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The injuries keep mounting.

The Nashville Predators are still stunned by the loss of top scorer Ryan Johansen to a season-ending thigh injury after Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.

Both stayed back in Orange County with lower-body injuries.

Puck drop tonight is at 6:15 pm CST and the game can be found on NBC or streaming through the NBC Sports app for your mobile device. Rakell led the Ducks with 33 goals this season and has added another seven in the playoffs but Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said he "wasn't ready to skate today". LW Nicolas Kerdiles replaced Rakell.

“I think we're very deep up front, ” said Predators forward Colin Wilson.

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