The Stars shone brightly on Wednesday. Power play goals put Dallas up in the game and Nashville had no answer.
Mats Zuccarello has three goals in four playoff games for Dallas. John Klingberg has five assists, and Miro Heiskanen has a goal and an assist. The much-loathed Alexander Radulov has two goals and an assist.
The Stars are currently dominating the special teams game in this series. They remain disciplined and manage to capitalize on power plays when a Predator inevitably is whistled for a minor penalty. That has to change today.
Finally, Nashville didn’t really force Ben Bishop to work too hard on Wednesday. He rarely had to move to make a save. The Predators can capitalize if they force Bishop to move around in net and navigate around screens.
The Predators were shelled from every angle early in Game 4. With Pekka Rinne on the bench, Juuse Saros stood tall and withstood the continued onslaught of Dallas chances while the Nashville defense sort of skated around in their zone.
Roman Josi scored the only goal of the game.
The big-name guys need to start scoring. Mikael Granlund needs to add another, and Viktor Arvidsson, Craig Smith, Ryan Johansen, and Filip Forsberg need to shoot the lights out and get some pucks past Ben Bishop.
Brian Boyle and Wayne Simmonds are unknowns. Boyle just had surgery and Simmonds took a puck to the knee. While they skated with the team on Friday, their status is questionable for today’s game.
The current fourth line has provided some speed in the form of Miikka Salomaki, Calle Jarnkrok, and Rocco Grimaldi. Grimaldi has been the story of the series, scoring twice in two games, but received another maintenance day Friday.
In short, we need a consistent 60-minute effort from every single player. The locker room should not even consider trying to go back to Dallas in Game 6 down a game.
Keep Your Eye on This Guy
Viktor Arvidsson. He’s perpetually zooming around the ice, but he’s been worked over by the bigger Dallas players in front of Ben Bishop fighting him for positioning. It’s time for a big game for #33. Arvidsson has the skill and the grit to get around Dallas’s defense. If he can force Ben Bishop to actually make saves, Arvidsson should have a few goals in his back pocket by dinnertime tonight.
Today’s Theme Song
Nirvana didn’t work so well the other night. I’m going back to country music today. Today’s theme song is “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks.
Today’s Drink of Choice
Some Larceny bourbon, neat. We need Pekka Rinne to refuse every shot and we need the boys in goal to secure a massive Game 5 at home in front of 17,000+ screaming fans.
How to Watch
Today’s game is at 2:00 Central. The game will be on NBC. 102.5 The Game will have the radio call.