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Round 2

Colin Wilson back at practice for Predators

Center hopes to be ready for second round against Blues after missing six games with lower-body injury

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson returned to practice Sunday for the first time since missing the Predators' four-game sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference First Round because of a lower-body injury.

Wilson has not played since April 4 and was out for the last two games of the regular season and the entire first round. He was a full participant in drills Sunday and hopes to be available for Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round against the St. Louis Blues. The start of that series is to be determined.

"I've always said it, when you get somebody back on the ice and involved in practice, those are positive steps in the right direction," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said.

Wilson has 18 points (10 goals, eight assists) in his past 20 Stanley Cup Playoff games and has led the Predators in goals during that span.

"I've been feeling pretty good," said Wilson, who had 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) in 70 regular-season games. "That was a good test on Day One coming out to practice with the team. We'll see when Game 1 is and what the play will be."

Nashville practiced for less than an hour Sunday, but said he felt good afterward.

Video: NSH@ANA: Wilson controls Neal's pass, buries backhand

"I want to get back in there as soon as possible and help the team out," Wilson said. "It'll just be between me and the training staff."

Wilson participated in a part of practice in the week leading up to Game 1 of the series against the Blackhawks but did not play. He said it was tough for him to watch and not be able to contribute.

"That first playoff game, Game 1, I was just dying to get out there," Wilson said. "And then sure enough Game 3, our first game at home, it was just an even bigger itch. It's nice to see the boys do real well and give me the opportunity to get back in."

The Predators swept the Blackhawks without Wilson in the lineup, and he was impressed with the way his teammates stepped up in his absence.

"We played our game," Wilson said. "It was just a hard, heavy game, fast. All of our attributes really just shined there. All of our top players were playing well, and it was great to watch. I was very proud of everybody."

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