Predators face elimination in Game 6 against Carolina

Sports

Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis, front, celebrates after teammate Ryan Johansen scored a goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the second period in Game 4 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

The Nashville Predators face a must win situation in Game 6 of their playoff series with the Carolina Hurricanes Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena.

The Canes lead the series (3-2) and advance to round two with a victory. So far home ice has meant everything in this series with the home team winning all five games including the Predators wins in Games 3 & 4 in Nashville.

“Yeah, extremely excited.” said Predators forward Colton Sissons, “It just doesn’t get any better than these huge games and when you’re playing at home in the playoffs, especially with our fan base. It’s going to be awesome.”

Going back to the end of the regular season the Predators have beaten the Hurricanes four times in a row at Bridgestone Arena. A fifth straight win would force a Game 7 Saturday in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Predators top line of Filip Forsberg, Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen was held scoreless in their Game 5 loss in North Carolina. Preds head coach John Hynes would like to be able to ride his best players in this one, but he is prepared to ride with whoever gets the job done, “If you’re going to ride certain players they have to be the best players, they have to be playing with passion, the work ethic, their execution, the intensity level they’re playing with, they’ve got to win shifts, they have to be impacting the game in those areas. That’s when you ride them and if they’re not at that level then you have to play the players that are.”

Johansen and Duchene have both been pulled off of the power play because the Predators were not able to sustain any time in the offensive end and were losing so many puck battles they were giving up odd man rushes on the other end. Hynes has been happy with their compete level in those battles in 5-on-5 situations since then, while the power play has also settled down.

The last three games in this series have gone overtime. They drop the puck at 8:30 PM in Nashville.

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