NASHVILLE -- It's going to be difficult for forward Colton Sissons to top the performance he had in a 6-3 win against the Anaheim Ducks that sent the Nashville Predators to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time.
Sissons was forced into a larger role during the past two games with injuries to forwards Ryan Johansen and Mike Fisher, and he responded with his first Stanley Cup Playoff hat trick in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final.
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"Unbelievable," Predators defenseman Roman Josi said. "I mean you get a hat trick in a Game 6 like this? That's pretty cool. I think he's been great for us all playoffs. A lot of huge goals. It's him, it's other guys too. [Pontus Aberg and Frederick Gaudreau] come in and play great, so you need that depth to be successful and they've done a great job."
Video: ANA@NSH, Gm6: Sissons has hat trick in clinching win
It's been a bumpy ride for Sissons this season. He was a healthy scratch at times in February and March, and finished the regular season with 10 points (eight goals, two assists) in 58 games.
Sissons has taken his game to another level so far in the playoffs with 10 points (five goals, five assists) in 16 games.
"It was a wild ride so far this year," Sissons said. "A lot of challenges for me personally, obviously being out of the lineup. I just wanted to be a regular guy playing every single night to now arguably one or two center for us with [Johansen] and [Fisher] out. It's been a wild ride, but it feels good and I'm just enjoying it."
The Predators needed every bit of Sissons' production in Game 6. They were outshot 41-18 and blew leads of 2-0 and 3-1.
Sissons scored the game-winning goal and completed his hat trick with 6:00 remaining in the third period on a rush with Calle Jarnkrok. He tried to cut to the middle of the ice but lost the puck. Jarnkrok got to the loose puck and found Sissons for the goal.
"Jarnkrok and I had a bit of a 2-on-2," Sissons said. "There was a turnover and I actually got lost on the backside, and [Jarnkrok] made a beautiful pass, a saucer pass right on my tape, and fortunately I put it away."
There are certainly players on the Predators that have more experience than Sissons does in the playoffs, but nobody in Nashville's history has scored more meaningful goals than he did in Game 6.
The Predators have a chance to win their first Stanley Cup, against either the Ottawa Senators or Pittsburgh Penguins, and players like Sissons will have to continue to fill a larger role because of injuries.
But, at least for now, Sissons is soaking in his part in the most important win in Predators history.
"It feels good, man," Sissons said. "I'm not going to lie. Obviously I don't think I even dreamt this moment, scoring a hat trick in a Western Conference clinching game. I can't speak enough for just our whole group. We've been through some challenges together and we stuck together no matter what. We believed and here we are."
Video: ANA@NSH, Gm6: Sissons on hat trick, Game 6 win