This year’s post season has been marked by a number of firsts for the Nashville Predators. First series win. First game 5 win. First overtime win. First win when the Preds could be eliminated with a loss. Now, Nashville attempts to force their first ever game 7.
The Vancouver Canucks are 1-4 in games where they could eliminate their opponents this post season. David Legwand said Sunday afternoon when he returned to Nashville that he hoped the stat will add pressure and “creep in the back of their minds again.”
The Predators will try to make it 1-5 for the Canucks and send the series back to British Columbia for Game 7 on Wednesday night.
Nashville’s chances are greatly improved if they play a strong first and second period. The Predators have scored 16 goals in either the third period or overtime in their 11 post season games, tops in the NHL.
Joel Ward and Legwand are leading the Predators offense. Legwand has a point in each of the last three games with 3 goals and 1 assist. Ward has six points in four games with 4 goals and 2 assists.
The Predators scored four goals for the first time in the series on Saturday night and Jordin Tootoo and Mike Fisher — two players who lead the Predators in Round 1 — each recorded their first points in the series.
Both teams have some key players not pulling their weight. If Fisher’s line could get the job done Monday night that would go a long way in securing a victory. Fisher, Hornqvist and Kostitsyn have a combined 0 goals during the series. While Fisher recorded his first point on Saturday night, Preds nation is still waiting for his linemates to bury their chances. Shea Weber has also been held pointless through five games.
The Sedin Twins have been shut down on the Canucks end. Henrik Sedin picked up his first goal of the post season in Game 4 when he scored the empty net goal that secured the Canucks victory.
There are going to be some lineup changes for Game 6.
Mikael Samuelsson did not travel to Nashville. Samuelsson left Game 5 when he got tangled up with Nick Spaling on Saturday night. There has been no annoucement as to who will enter the lineup but one option is Victor Oreskovich who played in the first two games of the series.
Injuries during the series for the Predators include Steve Sullivan and Jerred Smithson. The injuries have given Colin Wilson and JP Dumont the chance to get into the lineup.
While the Canucks are the favored team to win the Stanley Cup, the series has been close with each game being decided by one goal, except game 4 where an empty-net marker made it a two-goal margin.
Very limited tickets remain for Monday night’s 7 pm start time at Bridgestone Arena. The plaza party begins at 4 pm.
Photo credit: AP
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