2011 NHL Playoffs Picks – Predators at Ducks Game 5 Odds and Predictions – Free NHL Picks 4-22-11

Free NHL Playoffs Picks and Odds: Game 5 Nashville Predators at Anaheim Ducks Favorite, Moneyline, Total and Predictions 4/22/11: The Nashville Predators have brought their inconsistent back-end along for the ride in this years playoff-run. The Preds’ have looked absolutely fantastic in their two wins in the series, but absolutely dreadful in their pair of losses. They have given up 11 goals in their two losses and have been out-shot 72-40. Goalie Pekke Rinne has the worst goals against average for any starting goaltender in the playoffs thus far and he is constantly being exposed weak side. The Ducks are having a field day potting pucks in the net on the blocker side of the Preds’ net minder and until he changes something there is no reason for them to stop. Defensemen Shea Weber has been the catalyst for this yound Preds’ club, the veteran defensemen has a +2 rating to go along with 2 goals and 2 assists. He is also leading the physical assault on the Ducks, which is a tell-tale sign of his ‘lead by example’ mentality. The way Weber goes about his business is contagious and the Preds’ seem to rally around his play. Mike Fisher is leading the club with 3 goals already this postseason and he is setting up his teammates with constant scoring chances on a regular basis. The ex-Senator has not been involved in postseason play for two years but he has always been a formidable power. The ageless Steve Sullivan has also looked quite good after retuning from injury just before the playoffs commenced. His veteran leadership and uncanny ability to work in the corners will be called on for the duration of this postseason and it will be essential that Sullivan keeps up his strong play if the Preds’ have any Cup aspirations.

The Ducks evened things up on Wednesday night in Nashville and now return home hoping to return home ice advantage back to them. They too have been absurdly inconsistent in their play and there are great concerns about the mindset of this club. Ray Emery has been average, at best, since taking over the starting spot between the pipes. He has shown glimpses of greatness but he has also been exposed for his tendency to over commit. He will need to string together some strong performances to get his confidence level back to where it once was four years past. Cory Perry, the MVP hopeful, has performed quite admirably thus far and his increase in physical play is a blessing for coach Randy Carlyle. The scoring leader in the regular season has seen shadow play from many of the Predators skaters but it has not kept him off the score sheet to this point. Ryan Getzlaf has yet to truly find his stride and many insiders believe that his nagging ankle woes are coming into play in this series. If the Ducks win tonight it might be a good idea to rest Getzlaf in hopes that he has time to heel his ailing in ankle in time for the next round.

The play tonight lies with the Anaheim Ducks(Check the latest NHL Odds at SBG Global Sportsbook) at home. The Ducks know they do not want to go back to the music city with their season on the line. Anaheim has faltered for years not when there backs are against the wall in postseason competition. In fact, the Ducks have not pushed a series to 7 games when they are down 3-2 in over three years. They will be stopping at nothing to earn the victory tonight and I expect Cory Perry and cast to shoot for the moon. Ray Emery has yet to have a truly signature performance, tonight might be his time to break through. He was once a viable asset in the net for the Senators but some off-ice issues and untimely injuries has set his career in limbo over the past couple of seasons. He has all the intangibles and the will to get it done. We will consider the Ducks returning home ice advantage to their side and pushing the series back to Nashville in need of one more victory. Cheers!

Free Pick: Anaheim Ducks -140(moneyline)
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GAME 5 Nashville Predators at Anaheim Ducks
Date: 4/22/2011
Time: 10:05 PM EST
Televison: VERSUS
2011 NHL 1st Round Playoffs Series: (Best of 7 Series: Tied 2-2)
Vegas Odds
Favorite: Anaheim Ducks -140(moneyline) Total: Over/Under 5
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