Round One of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs continues this afternoon at 2 p.m. CT when the Nashville Predators host the Dallas Stars at Bridgestone Arena for Game 5, and it's now a best-of-three.
Nashville had won two-straight contests heading into Game 4 back in Dallas, but the Stars topped the Predators 5-1 on Wednesday night to even the series at two games apiece.
Whoever wins this afternoon will go back to Dallas for Game 6 on Monday night with a chance to advance to the second round. Needless to say, today's contest holds massive implications.
"You want to come out with an edge and do your best, dominate the play," Preds center Ryan Johansen said. "Usually we talk about hockey being a game of aggression, and you have to be ready for a war, so we're definitely coming in with that mindset."
Forwards Brian Boyle (appendix procedure) and Wayne Simmonds (lower-body) were both back on the ice during Friday's practice in Nashville. Both players were listed as week-to-week prior to Game 3 in Dallas, and although Predators Head Coach Peter Laviolette was unsure if either will be able to play this afternoon, it's a positive step in the recoveries of both players.
Boyle skated on the fourth line during Friday's session with Kyle Turris and Miikka Salomaki. Forward Rocco Grimaldi did not participate on Friday and was given a maintenance day.
Video: Laviolette says Preds have made game plan tweaks
Last Time Out:
Roman Josi scored the lone goal for the Preds in Game 4. Dallas scored four times in the first period, including three power-play goals, and Juuse Saros took over for Pekka Rinne before the opening frame was through.
Seven Predators - Josi, Grimaldi, P.K. Subban, Nick Bonino, Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm and Calle Jarnkrok - are all tied for the team lead in scoring with two points apiece. Josi and Grimaldi lead the Preds with two goals each; Subban, Craig Smith, Mikael Granlund and Filip Forsberg have also tallied for Nashville in the series.
Video: Johansen, Josi and Smith preview pivotal Game 5
John Klingberg leads the Stars with five points - all assists - in the series thus far. Mats Zuccarello has three goals, while Alexander Radulov and Roope Hintz have two goals each. Zuccarello, Radulov, Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn all have three points through four games. Ben Bishop has played every game for the Stars in the series and owns a .942 save percentage.
Stars vs. Preds Series Notes:
Roman Josi scored his 10th career playoff goal in Game 4 on Wednesday, the second-most in Preds history by a defenseman and tied for the seventh-most overall. Josi also moved into third on the team's all-time playoff points list with 30 (10g-20a).
With a helper each in Game 4, Ryan Ellis and Ryan Johansen moved into a tie for first on the team's all-time playoff assist list with 24.
Nashville is 0-9 all-time in series when trailing 1-0; 4-6 when tied 1-1; 6-1 when leading 2-1; and 4-6 when tied 2-2.
Video: Boyle provides an update on his return from injury
When You Go:
Bridgestone Arena doors open at noon ahead of today's 2 p.m. (CT) start for Game 5.
Starting at 11 a.m., fans can attend a Plaza Party presented by Lee Company, featuring the Smash Car presented by The NASH Collection, live music by Musicians on Call, kids games, face painters and a NashvilleLockerRoom.com merchandise truck.
At 11:30 a.m., Fifth Third cardholders, with a valid ticket, may enter the arena through the Nissan SoBro doors. Each fan in attendance of Game 5 presented by Tennessee Lottery will receive an LED rally towel courtesy of Tennessee Lottery and FOX 17.
Watch & Listen:
Today's game from Nashville comes with a 2 p.m. start time and is being shown nationally on NBC. Fans can also view the game on Sportsnet in Canada. The game can also be heard on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network with Pete Weber and Hal Gill.
Following today's game, a special Predators Live Playoff Edition will take place on Fox Sports Southeast with Willy Daunic, Chris Mason, Lyndsay Rowley, Kara Hammer and Terry Crisp.
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.
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.