The Predators have a 2-0 series lead and have yet to play a game at home. We didn't expect this. Most of us would've been happy with a split. Now the Preds need a split at home to seize control of the series and really screw things up for the Ducks.
Tonight, Anaheim will be throwing everything at Nashville. Everything. Will we see Frederik Andersen in net? Getzlaf and Perry back together? Shawn Horcoff? Bruce Boudreau turning into an ice cream-fueled Red Hulk?
The Anaheim Ducks
Again, if you haven't read up on these guys already, check out our series previews.
The Ducks will rely on Ryan Kesler and Jakob Silfverberg to take the tough draws, but so far Ryan Johansen and James Neal have done very well against Kesler & Co. And if the Ducks decide to stack their top line, more offense will be expected from the Ducks' shutdown line. This includes Andrew Cogliano, who the Preds found out to be very crafty and still pretty fast.
We also don't know for sure who is net for the Ducks tonight. John Gibson hasn't allowed a "bad" goal just yet, but 3 goals is a lot for the Ducks to give up compared to their regular season numbers. Don't be surprised that if Gibson starts, he'll have a quick hook.
There has been plenty of whining about the lack of penalties on Nashville from the Anaheim fans.
That wasn't a penalty.
We aren't expected to see Josh Manson just yet, but dumber things have happened.
Don't expect any lineup changes, and that includes Cody Bass. Game 2 gave us this Hallmark Moment:
Muha. Bass knows it's a long series, and there's no sense in emptying the magazine in Game 2.
Mike Ribeiro has not had a great series up to this point, especially against the Ryan Getzlaf line. But with the series shifting to home ice, more should be expected from the Ribeiro/Forsberg line. Sure, they have scored a couple times... but you also want this line to carry the fight into the Ducks zone and sustain it. That hasn't happened yet.
But at the end of the day, we're all just pawns in the game of life when Playoff Colin Wilson, AKA Mr. April shows up.
BTW: here's the Predcast.
The Important Details
8:45 PM puck drop, 8:20 PM pregame festivities. The game will be on FS-TN locally and NBC Sports (and their app) nationally. Local radio: 102.5 The Game.