A team in a 3-2 series hole usually has some areas of their game that needs improvement. The Predators are no different as Game Six in Nashville looms.
“If you’re down 3-2, everyone can do something better; just stay focused, create more offense, but 5-on-5, be better defensively and wait for your chance and wait for special teams,” Mike Ribeiro said following the Predators morning skate on Monday. The center also took personal responsibility for some of the errors that have Nashville facing elimination when they take on the Anaheim Ducks this evening.
While studying past mistakes can be beneficial, dwelling on them doesn’t help, and according to winger Filip Forsberg, the Predators are presented with a can’t-miss opportunity to tie the series tonight. The Preds skaters felt the push their hometown fans gave them in Game Four on Thursday, and much like they did in Game Five of their 2015 Round One matchup with Chicago, they’re hoping to use that extra energy to stave off elimination.
“It’s a great opportunity playing in front of our fans, and we want to keep playing,” Forsberg said. “That’s what we’re here for. That’s what we’re going out to do tonight.”
Forward Craig Smith participated in the team’s morning skate on Monday. He remains listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury that kept him out of Games Four and Five (and the majority of Game Three).
“Just his speed [has been missed], he’s a great skater. He really skates well and shoots the puck well, if he’s in the lineup he’ll be contributing in that way,” former linemate Filip Forsberg said.
Mike Ribeiro, usually the centerman on the Forsberg and Smith line, voiced similar sentiments to Forsberg’s:
“He’s a guy who skates really well and puts a lot of pressure on those [defensemen] to score a big goal. He works really hard and creates turnovers and creates offense for us. He’s a big part of the puzzle, and hopefully he’ll be back tonight,” Ribeiro said of Smith.