Keys to Watch
After a sweep of the Ducks in Anaheim, the series now moves to Nashville for the next two games. The Predators cannot let up now and think that the series will be a breeze. The odds are in Nashville’s favor to win the series, but the Ducks will come out tonight with even more intensity and desperation to turn the tide of the series back in their favor. The Preds will have a raucous, rabid fan-base in Nashville tonight looking for the hometown boys to come out of tonight’s game with a 3-0 lead. Anaheim made two trips to Nashville this season, both of which led to a Predators victory in the Music City. (10/22, 11/17)
This postseason has, so far, seen the Predators roster be challenged, but some unexpected heroes have emerged. Colin Wilson had a deplorable regular season for Nashville. Wilson only had 24 points in 64 games this season. Last season, the Preds were able to get lots of production out of Wilson with 20 goals and 22 assists. Since the postseason has started, the Greenwich, CT native has two points in the first two games (one goal, one assist), and has increased his level of play as a dangerous offensive presence for Nashville. Another unexpected hero during this year’s playoffs has been Anthony Bitetto. Granted, Bitetto will not light the score sheet up, but his play has been instrumental in shutting down the Anaheim offense, and has done his part in giving Shea Weber and Roman Josi a much needed break in-between their shifts. The Predators have been able to get unexpected heroes to show up, but now they need more to step up to send Anaheim packing.
Rinne Must Remain Consistent
Thus far, Pekka Rinne has been what he has needed to be for this organization. Rinne is 2-0-0, .931 save percentage, and 2.00 goals per game this postseason. He has stopped 54 out of 58 shots and has been the rock that the Predators have needed during the playoffs. The Preds will still need Rinne to make big saves tonight, and moving forward. All players on the ice need to ensure that he can see the puck and clear any rebounds out of the zone immediately. The defense of Nashville has played well so far, and need to continue their physical style of play.
The Nashville Predators will make it back home tonight in front of a sold-out Bridgestone Arena. The playoff plaza party outside Bridgestone Arena begins at 5:30 pm. Be sure to catch all of the action on Fox Sports-Tennessee, USA Network, or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 8:30 pm!