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Predators expect boost from home crowd in Game 5

by Staff /

The Nashville Predators didn't practice Wednesday after arriving back in Tennessee, but they must win Thursday at Bridgestone Arena to extend their Western Conference First Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Predators lost 3-2 in triple overtime in Game 4 on Tuesday in Chicago, giving the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

"You really just need to focus on one game, but it's really the only game that matters," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette told the Predators website. "There's no Game 7 that can be played and no Game 6 that can be played [yet]."

The Predators are excited to be home, where they had the best record (28-9-4) in the Western Conference in the regular season.

"You've got to win four games in a series," Nashville forward James Neal said. "Momentum changes really quickly, and with Chicago coming in our rink, they know how hard it's going to be to close out a series."

Laviolette feels the crowd will be a factor.

"We're back home here, we're in our building with our fans, and they've been great all year," he said. "You know there's going to be a lot of energy in the building, and we'll need that energy; certainly we can use it, and I think our guys will be ready to play."

Laviolette didn't provide an update on defenseman Shea Weber or forward Mike Fisher, who each has a lower-body injury. Weber was injured in Game 2, and Fisher in Game 1.

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