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Stanley Cup Final

Colin Wilson could return for Predators in Game 5 of Cup Final

Nashville forward may make series debut against Penguins, missed first four games with injury

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators forward Colin Wilson was a full participant in practice on Wednesday and could return to the lineup for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports).

The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2.

Wilson joined fourth-line center center Frederick Gaudreau during line rushes and drills, with Harry Zolnierczyk  and PA Parenteau rotating on the oppsoite wing.

"[Wilson] has been coming along good," forward James Neal said. "He looked good out there."

During a 3-on-2 drill in practice, Wilson constantly was with Gaudreau, and Zolnierczyk and Parenteau sharing time. Wilson has been out with an undisclosed injury and hasn't played in the Stanley Cup Final.

"He's one of those guys who can really bring a lot to the table," forward Filip Forsberg said. "He's a really hardworking guy with a lot of skill and can bring the physicality as well, so he's definitely one of those guys that can really make a difference."


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Wilson has two goals and two assists in 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He missed the entire Western Conference First Round against the Chicago Blackhawks with a lower-body injury.

During the regular season, he had 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) in 70 games.

Video: Jamie Hersch's breaking news from Pittsburgh

The Predators have relied on Wilson's ability to possess the puck down low and drive toward the net. He led the Predators with five goals in the 2015 playoffs and with 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in 14 games in the 2016 playoffs.

"He's a guy that plays that power forward type of game where he can get down low and hang on to pucks and really be physical offensively," forward Austin Watson said. "For us going with our game plan, we like to get down there and disrupt their [defensemen] and play with the puck, have puck possession. [Wilson] is great at that, and definitely a guy that can be a real helpful guy for us."

Video: Looking Ahead to Game 5

Wilson likely would replace either Zolnierczyk or Parenteau if he returns for Game 5.

Zolnierczyk and Parenteau each has been in and out of the lineup during the playoffs.

Zolnierczyk has three points (one goal, two assists) in 10 postseason games, and Parenteau has no points in five. Each has impressed teammates with his ability to stay ready and contribute when given the chance to play.

"They've been awesome," Watson said. "It's not the easiest job to come in and out of the lineup, but coming in they've done a great job of just bringing energy, bringing speed and doing whatever it is they can do to help the team, whether it be [Zolnierczyk] drawing some penalties, [Parenteau] making great plays coming out of our end.

"Just really goes to show our depth and that those guys, a credit to them to step [into] a tough situation and perform."

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