No. 4 Predators at No. 1 Hurricanes
8 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN360, TVAS, BSSO, BSSO
Best-of-7 series tied, 2-2
Jaccob Slavin could play for the Carolina Hurricanes against the Nashville Predators in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup First Round at PNC Arena on Tuesday.
The defenseman took part in the morning skate. He’s missed the past three games with a lower-body injury after playing 21:25 in Game 1, a 5-2 victory.
“I mean, it’s a good sign. We’re hopeful,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “He has to try it in warmups, really push it and then see where we’re at.”
The Predators won Game 3 and Game 4 in double overtime to tie the series. Forward Luke Kunin scored his first two goals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including the game-winner in Game 4 on Sunday.
Teams that win Game 5 when tied 2-2 are 213-58 (78.5 percent) winning a best-of-7 series.
Here are three keys for Game 5:
1. Saros sizzling
Juuse Saros is one of 18 goalies since the 1955-56 season with multiple postseason games of at least 50 saves and one of eight to do so in the same year. He made 52 saves in Game 3 and 58 in Game 4 to help the Predators even the series.
“He’s a stud,” Nashville forward Ryan Johansen said. “He’s a big part of our team success and our success in winning these last two games. He’s going to keep doing his thing and we’re going to keep counting on him.”
Dan Ellis is the other Predators goalie with at least 50 saves in a playoff game. He made 52 in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5 of the 2008 Western Conference Quarterfinals.
2. Power play needs to deliver
Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho said no big changes are needed on the power play, which was 0-for-4 with six shots in Game 4 and is 2-for-14 in the series.
“If you see our power play, I don’t know how many shots we got but it seemed a lot,” Aho said Monday. “I feel we don’t have that extra shot we need. Hopefully we’re going to be successful tomorrow.”
3. Feeling good
The Predators are healthy at the right time. They lost 303 man-games because of injury, illness or suspension during the regular season.
“We’re able to play six (defensemen), we’re rolling four lines,” coach John Hynes said. “We’re not banged up, we don’t have injuries, so we’re in good shape here. Guys are sacrificing and playing hard, but as far as depth and energy and being able to manage minutes for guys during these two games, we’re in good shape here.”
Predators projected lineup
Filip Forsberg — Ryan Johansen — Matt Duchene
Eeli Tolvanen — Mikael Granlund — Luke Kunin
Calle Jarnkrok — Erik Haula — Nick Cousins
Yakov Trenin — Colton Sissons — Tanner Jeannot
Roman Josi — Alexandre Carrier
Mattias Ekholm — Ryan Ellis
Ben Harpur — Matt Benning
Scratched: Mathieu Olivier, Erik Gudbranson, Rocco Grimaldi, Brad Richardson, Tyler Lewington, David Farrance, Michael McCarron, Jeremy Davies, Rem Pitlick, Dante Fabbro, Kasimir Kaskisuo
Injured: Viktor Arvidsson (upper body), Luca Sbisa (lower body), Mark Borowiecki (upper body)
Hurricanes projected lineup
Andrei Svechnikov — Sebastian Aho — Teuvo Teravainen
Nino Niederreiter — Vincent Trocheck — Martin Necas
Warren Foegele — Jordan Staal — Jesper Fast
Jordan Martinook — Steven Lorentz — Brock McGinn
Jaccob Slavin — Dougie Hamilton
Brady Skjei — Brett Pesce
Jake Bean — Jani Hakanpaa
Scratched: Morgan Geekie, Jake Gardiner, Maxime Lajoie, Max McCormick, Drew Shore, Ryan Suzuki, Roland McKeown, James Reimer
Injured: Cedric Paquette (lower body)
If Slavin is ruled out, Lajoie, a defenseman, will enter the lineup.