The Nashville Predators look to get back into the Western Conference Semi Finals after dropping both games on the road to go down 2-0 in the best of seven series. The Preds will look to rebound without the help of talented forwards Alexander Radulov & Andrei Kostitsyn, who are suspended for violating team rules while on the road(speculation is everywhere & team is offering no details).
This will allow a couple of players that have been healthy scratches to get back in the lineup & in some cases maybe out of the dog house of Coach Barry Trotz. Any combination of Craig Smith, Jordin Tootoo, Matt Halischuk, or Colin Wilson will fill out the suspended players spots & could give Nashville a lift. The Preds need to get back to basics & playing a team system that allowed them to have so much success during the regular season.
Look for the Preds to come out strong & play a very solid game looking to put the past couple days aside & get back into the series. If the Preds don’t play a strong game & come away with a victory, then it becomes dramatically tougher to come back as only 3 teams have overcome a 3 game hole in NHL history. This is the 3rd time Nashville has been down 0-2 & have come back to tie the series the previous 2 in 2004 & 2008 both against Detroit, but then lost games 5 & 6. Everything is on the line tonight & it will be interesting to watch how the Preds handle the pressure & adversity of playoff hockey.
Puck drop is 8 CT to accomodate NBC & if not attending, the game can be seen on CNBC.
All players are listed as healthy.
The bottom line…
-The Nashville Predators trail 2-0 to the Phoenix Coyotes in the best of seven Western Conference Semi-Finals.
-In the Western Conference Playoffs #8 LA leads #2 St Louis 2-0.
- Eastern Conference #1 NYR & #7 Was are tied 1-1, #4 Phi & #6 NJ are tied 1-1.
-The Predators are home for game 3 tonight 8 CT & also for game 4 on Friday.
-F Alex Radulov leads the Preds in Playoff scoring with 1G & 5A for 6 total points followed by 5 players with 4 points.
-D Ryan Suter leads the Preds in time on ice with 28:52 followed by D Shea Weber with 28:39.
-D Francis Bouillon leads the team in +/- with a plus 8 rating.
-F Patric Hornqvist leads the Preds in shots on goal in the playoffs with 25, followed by Weber with 22.
-F Mike Fisher leads the Preds in hits for the playoffs with 22, followed by Francis Bouillon Andrei Kostitsyn with 15.
-D Shea Weber leads the Preds in blocked shots with 17, followed by Roman Josi with 16.