VANCOUVER, CANADA - MAY 7: Joel Ward #29 celebrates with Shea Weber #6 of the Nashville Predators after scoring a goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the third period in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 07, 2011 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
7:00 CT | TV: CBC (HD), VERSUS (HD), RIS (HD), FSN-TN | Radio: 102.9 FM
Let it not be said that the Nashville Predators were going to go down without a fight.
Down 2-1 on the road against the best team in the NHL and facing elimination they found a way. The Preds came back to win the game 4-3, and forced a game 6 back home in Nashville. Some would call it luck, but no matter how you put it they got the job done, and Predator fans will get to see at least one more game in Bridgestone Arena.
For Nashville, scoring in this series has come from the unlikeliest of places. Matt Halischuk scored the game-winning goal in Game 2, and last night Joel ward provided 2 of Nashville's 4 goals, including the game-winner. But for Vancouver, it's been quite the opposite: the Ryan Kesler show has taken center stage. Love him or hate him, Kesler has dominated the Predators the way Selanne did in their previous series. With Barry Trotz doing everything in his power to shut down the Sedins, Kessler has stepped up, scoring 9 points in 5 games so far, including 2 game-winning goals.
Every game this series has been a hard-fought, grind-it-out game, with the hardest-working team coming out on top each time, and there's no reason to believe tonight will be any different. That being said, both teams are starting to figure each other out. The series started off with a 1-0 Canucks victory, but the goal total has grown with each game, so don't expect another snoozer.
Tonight it's Do Or Die Part II for the Predators. Win, and they'll live to fight another day. Lose, and the season's over. But if this season has been any indication, these Predators won't go quietly.
Lineups after the jump...
Tonight's starting lineups:
Nashville - Trotz has mixed up his lines the last two games due to injury and overall lack of production. It'll be interesting to see what he does tonight: