Game 3 Lineups & Predictions: Unknown Territory

The Predators landed in Nashville yesterday in the fortunate and unfamiliar territory of being up 2-0 in the first round of the playoffs...some changes are coming, and not for the home team.

The Anaheim Ducks, coached by Bruce Boudreau, have made a change in net. Frederik Andersen will start tonight against the Predators. It was only last year that the Predators chased Corey Crawford from net only to watch a former Predator prospect, Scott Darling, go all vintage Dominic Hasek and stone the Predators chance of winning the series. So, it comes with a little trepidation that the Ducks have made a move to Andersen. Let's hope the Predators can put some rubber behind him and rattle him early, otherwise it could be a long night.

It also looks like Wagner is out and Shawn Horcoff is in tonight. Horcoff brings a touch more scoring ability but this once promising player hasn't been setting the world on fire.

The Predators lineup is exactly the same. Possibly during the game, Laviolette might deploy Colin Wilson on the top line to provide a little offensive spark as "playoff Wilson" is considerably better than "regular season Wilson"...and we have zero problem with that right now.

Another concern for the Predators should be the rebound control of Pekka Rinne. He has been effective in both wins against Anaheim and the defense in front of him should take most of the credit for clearing out the puck and the slot. Anaheim has bigger, stronger forwards that live near the blue ice like Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler, and the defense has been doing a solid job of keeping them relatively clear, especially in the dying seconds of the game. The real conundrum is that Rinne has been looking a bit like he's fighting the puck and flailing around more so than keeping that glove hand strong. Here's hoping it's just the excitement of the playoffs and the more confidence Rinne has with the offense and defense in front of him, the more confidence he'll give the team with his rebound control and puck stoppage.