The Preds continued preparations for their 2010 Conference Quarterfinals series with an up-tempo practice on Tuesday, including a mini-scrimmage during the tail end of the session. Ryan Suter
, who took a rest day yesterday, returned to the ice for the full practice. Beyond that, based on practice jersey colors, there weren't any changes to line combinations. For the second consecutive day Wade Belak lined up as a defenseman for practice.
Up front the combinations were:Colin Wilson
- Jason Arnott - Martin Erat
Joel Ward - Marcel Goc - Steve Sullivan
JP Dumont - David Legwand
- Jordin Tootoo
Jerred Smithson - Dustin Boyd - Cal O'Reilly - Nick Spaling
Defensively the pairing were:Ryan Suter
& Shea Weber
; Cody Franson & Dan Hamhuis; Francis Bouillon
& Kevin Klein
; Wade Belak & Denis Grebeshkov.
Today's drills were more focused on line combinations than yesterday's including the mini-scrimmage and some half-ice offense/defense zone battles. Steve Sullivan scored the first goal just seconds into the scrimmage and looked sharp throughout the practice. Jordin Tootoo
also appeared strong. Defensively Denis Grebeshkov skated the full practice for the second consecutive day and may be available to join the lineup early in the series.New Team, Same Opponent
Preds forward Dustin Boyd is facing Chicago for the second consecutive playoff season. Last season as a member of the Calgary Flames, Boyd scored one goal in five games during the Calgary/Chicago Conference Quarterfinals Series, a 4-2 Chicago series win.
Boyd noted: "They're very similar to where they were last year, but they've added a few players, so we know the challenge they present; they're a really good team with a lot of speed and a lot of skill. For us, we just have to play our game and play a high energy game. The biggest thing I was able to learn from the playoff experience last year was how much momentum changes back-and-forth throughout the course of a series; you can't get too high or too low until the series is finished."Injury ReportPatric Hornqvist
sat out the first half of practice, but joined the team for final few minutes and then continued with a lengthy session on his own after practice wrapped up. All signs continue to point to Hornqvist playing in Game 1 on Friday night.