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End of Season Updates: Preds Want Same Core in 2018-19

Calle Jarnkrok, Ryan Hartman Battled Injuries in the Playoffs; Pekka Rinne Remains No. 1 Goaltender

by Thomas Willis @TomAWillis / Digital Manager & Producer

GM Poile: End of Season Comments

Poile recaps NHL-best regular season, playoff loss

General Manager David Poile recaps the Predators most successful regular season in franchise history and coming up short in the playoffs

  • 08:50 •

This year's end-of-season press conference, with Nashville Predators General Manager David Poile and Head Coach Peter Laviolette, had a different feel than previous editions.

Even considering the 2017 version, which took place exactly 11 months ago following the Preds' loss in the Stanley Cup Final, both the Predators GM and head coach stressed several times on Monday that they don't want to see big changes, they simply want a second shot at the Stanley Cup. Poile said that's not something he usually finds himself saying.

After falling in seven games to the second-place team from the 2017-18 regular season, the Winnipeg Jets, the Preds management and players are convinced the club's foundation is rock solid. With the vast majority of the team signed to long-term contracts and many of the players just now entering the prime of their careers, the Predators see a Stanley Cup in their not-so-distant future.

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Playoff Disappointment Still Fresh, Preds Know Window to Win Remains Open

Core Group of Players Say Their Chance to Bring Stanley Cup to Nashville Remains Promising

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

If everything had gone according to plan, the Predators would be getting ready to host Game 1 of the Western Conference Final tonight.

At the beginning of every season, 31 teams make essentially that same plan, the ultimate goal to win it all. The reality is only one of those clubs will see their plan come to fruition, the other 30 left to figure out what went wrong.

The Predators believed they had as good of a chance as any to have a parade in their town come mid-June.

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Fisher Confirms Retirement, Ends Playing Career with Preds

Predators Centerman Finishes Career with 1,104 Games, Final Eight Seasons in Nashville

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

Locker Clean-Out: Mike Fisher

Fisher announces retirement after comeback to Preds

Mike Fisher officially announces his retirement after coming back to the Preds for an 18th season

  • 03:53 •

It was the perfect analogy from a man who feels just as comfortable in the great outdoors as he does in the face-off circle.

"I've milked this cow as long as it's been able to milk," Mike Fisher said with a laugh on Saturday at Bridgestone Arena. "It's bone dry."

After coming out of retirement to rejoin the Predators for one more run, it was Fisher's way of confirming his NHL career as a player has indeed come to an end as he and the rest of his teammates cleaned out their lockers for the summer.

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Season Concludes as Preds Fall in Game 7

2017-18 Campaign Ends in Disappointment as Predators Fall Short of Ultimate Goal

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

It ended sooner than anyone would have wished.

A 5-1 victory for the Winnipeg Jets in Game 7 on Thursday night in Nashville saw the visitors advance to the Western Conference Final, while the Predators' franchise-best season came to an early conclusion.

It never gets any easier to be on the wrong end of a handshake line, and the Predators were left feeling the disappointment of a game that simply didn't go their way.

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They Said It: Top Preds Quotes Ahead of Game 7 Against Winnipeg

Pekka Rinne, Scott Hartnell and Ryan Hartman Talk Game 7 in Nashville

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

The wait is almost over.

For the first time in Predators' history, Nashville will host a Game 7 tonight as the Preds and Winnipeg Jets conclude their epic Round Two series. The winner will advance to the Western Conference Final, while the loser will see their season come to an end. No pressure.

Inside the Predators dressing room on Thursday morning, the mood was upbeat, yet focused, as players made their final preparations to play what they'd like to treat as just another game - but is still so much more.

Just a few hours away from Game 7, here are the top quotes from the Nashville locker room:

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Game 7 Projected Lineup: Jets vs. Predators

Ryan Hartman Could Enter Preds Lineup for First Game 7 in Nashville

by Thomas Willis @TomAWillis / Digital Manager & Producer

For the first time ever, the Nashville Predators will host a Game 7 when they face the Winnipeg Jets (tonight at 7 p.m. CT).

The Preds rebounded from a 6-2 loss in Game 5 by shutting out the Jets at Bell MTS Place in Game 6, 4-0. Nashville will now play in their third Game 7 in franchise history (both in 2016), but first at home at Bridgestone Arena. 

The Predators held an optional morning skate on Thursday. Forward Mike Fisher was absent from Wednesday's full practice; he is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Defenseman Matt Irwin left yesterday's practice early, Alexei Emelin filled in on the third pairing after that. 

Below is a Preds projected lineup based on Wednesday's practice: 

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Preds vs. Jets, Game 7: How to Watch, Live Stream

Final Contest of Round Two Series Comes with Winner Set to Advance to Western Conference Final

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

There will be a handshake line tonight at Bridgestone Arena, and only one side will advance to the Western Conference Final.

Game 7 between the Predators and Jets comes this evening from Nashville, the first time the team has hosted such a contest in its 20 seasons of existence, and the winner will advance to face the Vegas Golden Knights in the conference final, while the other will see their season come to an end.

Nashville has already been victorious once in a must-win situation in this series, taking Game 6 in Winnipeg by a 4-0 final after suffering a 6-2 defeat in Game 5. The teams with the two best point totals during the 2017-18 regular season, Nashville versus Winnipeg has lived up to the billing, and now the two will face off one more time in a winner-take-all skirmish.

"In Game 7, goals aren't the only thing that will win the game," center Nick Bonino said. "Defense is the biggest factor. If we can defend well, if we can block shots and keep them out of our zone as much as we can, the little things like that will win the game. Hopefully we get a lot of goals, but it might be one or two goals that wins it and we need to find those."

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Preds Believe Anyone, Everyone Can Play Role of Hero in Game 7

Nashville Set to Host First Game 7 as Predators Look to Play Simple Game to Defeat Winnipeg

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

Just uttering the phrase is enough to create goosebumps, to bring about the thoughts of what might be, what could be, how a victory would feel.

When the Predators take the ice Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena, they'll be doing so in a setting never before seen in Nashville. Never before have they hosted a do-or-die, winner-take-all contest.

But there's a first time for everything. And with a win, it would be the second consecutive trip for the home club to the Western Conference Final.

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Preds Return Home for Game 7 Searching for One More Win Against Jets

Plenty of Factors in Play, Nashville Simply Concentrating on 60-Minute Effort

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

When the Predators set out to begin the 2017-18 season, it was an instance such as this that they carried in the back of their minds.

They knew if they were going to face a potential Game 7 in the postseason, they wanted the puck to drop at Bridgestone Arena.

For the first time in the club's 20-season history, a Game 7 will indeed commence on home ice - Thursday night to be exact - against the Winnipeg Jets after the Preds shut out their opponent by a 4-0 count in a must-win Game 6 on Monday.

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Trio on Predators First Line Has Been Masterful

Preds 'JOFA' Line has Used Speed, Skill and Defense to Deliver in the Playoffs

by Thomas Willis @TomAWillis / Digital Manager & Producer

In Game 6 on Monday night, there was a 30-second span where Ryan Johansen won a faceoff, set up Austin Watson for a clean shot in the slot, raced back on the backcheck and stole a feed intended for Patrik Laine at the point. That was all while the Nashville Predators were killing off the first of four Winnipeg Jets' power-play chances.

The Jets failed to convert on three power plays alone in the first period, a momentum shift that helped to frustrate their high-powered offense and allowed Nashville cling to a 1-0 advantage through the opening 20 minutes. Johansen's motivation was evident throughout the first frame and in the do-or-die contest as a whole.

It's a trend that started during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, when Johansen went head to head with top Western Conference centers like Jonathan Toews, Paul Stastny and Ryan Getzlaf and bested them in three separate playoffs series. The postseason uptick helped solidify Johansen's position as an elite centermen alongside the aforementioned trio and led Preds General Manager David Poile to hand out the richest contract in franchise history to the then-24-year-old forward that summer.

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