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Stanley Cup Final

Mike Fisher practices with Predators preparing for Cup Final

Nashville center back on ice as it gets ready for Game 1 against Penguins on Monday

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher returned to the ice and participated in practice Thursday for the first time since sustaining an undisclosed injury during Game 4 of the Western Conference Final against the Anaheim Ducks on May 18.

The Predators captain, who missed the final two games against the Ducks, took a knee to the head from Anaheim defenseman Josh Manson in the third period of Game 4.

"I feel pretty good," Fisher, who had been skating on his own for a few days, said after practice. "I skated a few days here. Still not cleared, but it felt good to get out there with the guys."

Fisher is trying to be available for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, which will be Monday on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports).

"It felt pretty good, a lot better than it was a few days ago," Fisher said. "It's a great sign, no question. The goal is to get back, obviously, at the start, but we'll see how it goes here in the next little while."

Video: Will Mike Fisher be able to play in Game 1

Fisher, who skated with wings Harry Zolnierczyk and James Neal during Nashville's first practice since winning the Western Conference on Monday, took minimal contact.

The Predators are without Ryan Johansen, their No. 1 center, for the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with acute compartment syndrome. He had emergency surgery on his left leg after Game 4 against the Ducks.

Fisher's teammates were excited to see him on the ice and able to skate through a full practice.

"It was great," goaltender Pekka Rinne said. "Big part of this team, everybody knows it. Our leader and our captain so we all were really happy to see him on the ice."

The Predators will begin the Final away from Bridgestone Arena, just as they have in each of the first three rounds of the playoffs. They want to make sure they're as prepared as possible for Game 1.

"I think it's just focusing on this week," Fisher said. "We still don't know who we're playing, but just put in the work days and try to get better as a team and some guys get healthy and rest. Keep our minds focused on what we've got to do. Just getting ready, that's the main goal."

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