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Fisher finishes for Predators in third OT

Center scores to give Nashville win in 'war of attrition,' even second-round series against Sharks 2-2

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / Director of Editorial

NASHVILLE -- The game-winning goal by Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher in Game 4 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the San Jose Sharks came using a typical Stanley Cup Playoff recipe.

It was one part opportunity, one part good fortune and one part healthy intermission snack.

Asked what he was running on as Game 4 dragged into its 112th minute, a weary Fisher summoned the energy to smile briefly and answer: "Bananas, grapes, electrolytes; anything to get energy."

It was a burst of his energy after Thursday night had turned into Friday morning that allowed Fisher to score the game-winner in a 4-3 overtime victory that ended the longest game in Predators history and sent the Bridgestone Arena faithful into a rapture.

Nashville defenseman Matthias Ekholm took a shot from the point. San Jose goalie Martin Jones blocked it but gave up a bigger rebound than he anticipated. Fisher darted in, collected the puck, moved to his right and outwaited Jones before sliding it home for his second goal of the game. His first, almost forgotten, came at 9:50 of the first period.

Video: SJS@NSH, Gm4: Fisher tallies twice, evens series 2-2

"I tried to get around him," Fisher said of the winner. "He made a save on me on a play similar to that earlier where he got his foot out, so I was just trying to get around him."

Fisher said there wasn't much talk between the second and third overtimes; there wasn't enough energy for anything but the briefest of conversations.

But, clearly, a message got through.

"We talked about that exactly going into the last overtime," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. "Usually when you get this deep and guys are tired and weary, and guys are playing 49 minutes, 45 minutes, 50 minutes, it's usually something that just goes to the net. You just try to get pucks to the net.

"He ended up kicking [the puck] up [onto his stick] and then finding a little bit of space to put it in."
Now the Predators have new life in this best-of-7 series, which is tied 2-2 with Game 5 in San Jose on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

They have new life because Fisher has been dominant as part of a reconfigured line that made its debut in Game 3 when Nashville was in a 2-0 hole in this series. Laviolette put James Neal on a line with Colin Wilson and Fisher.

That line was responsible for all four Predators goals Thursday. Fisher had two, Wilson opening the scoring, and Neal tied it 3-3 with 4:21 remaining in regulation.

"Like I said, when you are down 0-2, you are looking for something different and trying to catch them going in a different direction," Laviolette said. "That line has been really good for us. Wilson has been excellent. Neal has been good. Fisher gives you everything he's got every shift."

He gave his all on the final shift of Game 4, and it paid huge dividends for the Predators.

"You are trying to so hard to find something and you know how big the game is," he said. "The longer you go, it's just a war of attrition and it could go either way. You are just hoping you make the right plays at the right time to finish it."

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