Tell me if you heard this before: The Predators, in a playoff series, stole game 1 on the road, 4-1, went up 2-1 in the series, with a convincing win at home, but came out flat in their chance to go up 3-1. Sound familiar? It should. The Predators face a second consecutive road Game 5, and yet another chance to steal back home ice advantage. But we all know what happened last time. It still leaves a bad taste in the mouth of Predators fans everywhere.
But this is a new year and a new series against a new team. Sure, game 4 hurt. It hurt bad. But that was two days ago. Tonight is a new game. Let's just hope they got all of the sloppy play out of their system in that third period.
The two keys to this game go hand in hand: Stay out of the penalty box, and don't give up early goals. In both losses, the Predators took early penalties, and the Ducks were able to capitalize. An interesting tidbit about the series from ESPN.com: "The team that has scored first has also scored second and won every game in the series."
The second story of note is, obviously, the Jarko Ruutu/Martin Erat incident. Ruutu clearly targeted Erat with a late hit in Game 4, and was subsequently suspended for tonight's contest. However, Ruutu was a healthy scratch for Games 2 and 3, and did not see significant ice time even in the games he did appear in. However, the big news here is on the Nashville side. Martin Erat will not make the trip with the team to Anaheim, leaving head coach Barry Trotz with a big decision lineup-wise.
These games are as big as they get for the Nashville Predators. Win, and you force Anaheim to win two in a row to win the series. Lose, and, well, we all know. If the Predators want to make history, now is the time.
|2010 - Ray Emery||10||527||7||2||20||2.28||272||252||.926||0|
Ryan - Getzlaf - Perry
The choices to replace Martin Erat are Colin Wilson, JP Dumont, and Cal O'Reilly. However, I doubt we'll see O'Reilly except in an emergency situation. I see Sullivan moving up to Erat's place, and putting Wilson or Dumont on the 4th line.
|2010 - Pekka Rinne||64||3789||33||22||134||2.12||1905||1771||.930||6|
Watch-party and other information:
From the Predators:
Nashville, Tenn. (April 20, 2011) - When the Nashville Predators face off against the Ducks in a crucial Western Conference Quarterfinals matchup this Friday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, local fans will have several locations where they can gather for official Game Five watch parties.
Fans in the Brentwood and Franklin area can head to Brewhouse South (1885 Galleria Blvd, Franklin) to catch the game; Green Hills residents can congregate at Crow's Nest (2221 Bandywood Dr, Nashville); East Nashville supporters are invited to Village Pub and Beer Garden (1308 McGavock Pk, Nashville); and those in the Downtown area can head to Bailey's (408 Broadway, Nashville) to catch all the action. Predators' staffers will be making stops at each location with a limited amount of Predators swag and prizes for several lucky fans.
Brewhouse South will also play host to fans from Section303.com, the self-described rowdiest fans and section in Smashville. Fans looking for a little extra excitement and crowd chanting in their watch party experience should head to Brewhouse South to join in on the fun.
And a note about another Preds' Pride Day:
After last week's successful Preds Playoff Pride Day - in which fans, businesses and even statues were decked out in Predators apparel to show support for the team's playoff run - a sequel has been instituted and will coincide with Game Five festivities. The team is once again calling on all residents of Smashville to show their support by donning their favorite Predswear this Friday. Jerseys, hats, t-shirts, face paint and playoff beards are all acceptable forms of attire for Preds Playoff Pride Day (part two).
TV Listings for Game 5
|State||City||Provider||SD Channel||HD Channel|
|Chattanooga||Electric Power Board of Chattanooga||34||334|