The Nashville Predators need a win tonight in Dallas to keep their postseason run alive.
Game 6 between the Preds and Stars comes this evening at American Airlines Center, and with Dallas up three games to two in their Round One series, Nashville will take the ice on the brink of elimination for the first time in these Stanley Cup Playoffs.
It's not a desirable situation, but the Predators have no choice but to embrace the challenge of what's to come. If they win, they'll bring things back to Nashville for a seventh and deciding game on Wednesday night at Bridgestone Arena.
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But that's the last thing on their minds for now. Instead, it's about winning a period, a shift, a play - all of those little details that will add up once the night is through.
With two-straight losses in the series after consecutive wins of their own, the Predators have no choice but to play the role of victors tonight.
"Our group has been very resilient this year when we've had our backs against the wall, when a challenge is put before us," Preds defenseman Dan Hamhuis said. "There's a lot of character in this room, and we have a real strong desire to win. There's a good belief going into Game 6."
"They're battle tested, and they're ready for an opportunity like this," Predators Head Coach Peter Laviolette said of his team. "Now, we load the plane, and we have to go out there and deliver that. I do think the experiences that we've been through, they make us a little bit tougher in a situation like this. We shouldn't be deer in the headlights when a game like this happens. We've been here before."
A 5-3 result on Saturday afternoon saw forward Brian Boyle return to the Nashville lineup after missing Games 2 through 4 following an appendix procedure. Forward Wayne Simmonds has missed the past three games with a lower-body injury, although he was a participant in Friday's practice in Nashville.
Video: NSH Recap: Predators drop Game 5, season on the brink
Last Time Out:
Rocco Grimaldi scored his team-leading third goal of the playoffs in Game 5; Ryan Johansen and Kyle Turris also tallied in the loss, the first goal of the postseason for both players.
Roman Josi leads the Preds in scoring with four points, followed by Grimaldi and Ryan Ellis with three points apiece. Grimaldi has three goals, Josi has two and six other Preds have one each.
Alexander Radulov and Jason Dickinson had two goals apiece in Saturday's 5-3 win. Jamie Benn leads the Stars with six points in the postseason, followed by Radulov, Tyler Seguin and John Klingberg with five points apiece. Radulov has four goals; Mats Zuccarello has three.
Video: Josi, Sissons and Subban preview Game 6 in Dallas
Preds vs. Stars Series Notes:
The Preds are 7-6 all-time in Game 6, including 2-1 on the road.
Grimaldi has accounted for three of the eight goals scored by Preds forwards this series (37.5 percent), and is the only Nashville forward to have multiple goals. Among the 20 players with at least three goals in the playoffs, Grimaldi averages the lowest time on ice (11:58).
Through five games, 16 different Preds skaters have earned at least a point, the second-most among the 12 teams remaining in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (Toronto).
Video: Laviolette says Preds will be ready for Game 6
Watch & Listen:
Tonight's game from Dallas comes with a 7:30 p.m. (CT) start time with Predators Live Pregame beginning at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Tennessee. Fans outside of the home market can view the game on CNBC in the United States and Sportsnet in Canada. The game can also be heard on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network.
We're bringing Smashville to The Cowan at Topgolf tonight for a Preds Official Watch Party. Come see all the action of Game 6 with Gnash and the Energy Team with chances to win prizes like Nashville Locker Room gift cards. Free admission for all ages begins at 6 p.m. CT.
For every game during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, fans can attend a Preds Approved bar or restaurant, and know in advance they'll have the Preds game on and be showing their support for the team. Visit NashvillePredators.com/watchparty to check out one of the dozens of Preds Approved locations across Tennessee.
Video: Listen to Stars, Preds mic'd up for crucial Game 5
Listen to a Live Radio Feed (only active during the game broadcast window).
Watch a Live Stream of the game on the NBC Sports App.