Keys to Watch
After the marathon game four that ended at 1:03 am, the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks jumped a plane to California for tonight’s game five. The 2,200 mile distance between Bridgestone Arena and the SAP Center in San Jose can be long for most people. Yet, after a three-overtime, physical game, fatigue will be a factor tonight. The first part of the game, both teams will be running on adrenaline. Keep an eye toward the end of the periods as fatigue will set in for the players. As the game progresses, which team’s conditioning will be superior will be a key to watch.
The winner of each game during this series has been the home team. With the best of three games left, the odds are not in the favor of Nashville (two in San Jose, one in Nashville). If the Predators can win Game 5, having all of the momentum, Nashville could clinch the series and move on to the Western Conference final. Most pundits have not given Nashville a chance this post-season and this is their opportunity to prove them wrong. The Preds need to flip home-ice advantage tonight with a win.
After the debacle the last go-around in San Jose, head coach Peter Laviolette switched the lines around and put Colin Wilson, Mike Fisher, and James Neal on the second line. In game four, this pairing scored all four goals with Fisher scoring two goals, including the game-winner in the wee hours of Friday morning. This line has put the team, offensively, on their backs and are clicking on all cylinders. Wilson has a point in the last five games and Fisher has a point in the last four games. With this group excelling, the Preds need their other lines to pick up the slack and push this team to the next round.
The Nashville Predators will look to take game five at the SAP Center in San Jose tonight. Be sure to catch all of the action on NBCSN or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Stay up late with the Preds as the puck drop will be at 9:00 pm tonight!