Posted on April 19, 2008 07:21 PM | Permalink
NASHVILLE – As if the Nashville Predators didn’t face a daunting enough task heading into Game 6 of this Western Conference quarterfinal against Detroit, it appears they’ll be doing so with a depleted lineup.
Predators coach Barry Trotz said Saturday that centre Jason Arnott – who tied for the team’s scoring lead during the regular season – is doubtful for Sunday, when Nashville will be trying to tie the series 3-3.
In addition, second-line center David Legwand is questionable for the contest because of the bone bruise on his left foot.
The Predators were without both players on Friday and were outshot 54-21 in a 2-1 overtime loss to Detroit.
There’s still some mystery surrounding Arnott’s ailment, which the Predators have at times described as flu-like symptoms and possible food poisoning. But Trotz on Saturday didn’t rule out the possibility that Arnott is suffering from post-concussion syndrome, dating back to the end of Game 3 when he collided with Alexander Radulov while celebrating the game-winning goal.
Arnott didn’t play in the 3:48 of that game, after which Trotz said the captain suffered some "whiplash.’" Arnott did play in Game 4.
"Before I become a doctor I am going to let the doctors make that decision. ... I am not going to speculate on that,’’ Trotz said.
The Red Wings, meanwhile, are looking to continue what’s been a very successful playoff trend in recent years. When leading a playoff series 3-2, Detroit has won Game 6 on 10 straight occasions.
The Wings played their best game of the series in Game 5, using an aggressive forecheck to hem the Predators in their zone and creating one turnover after another in the neutral zone.
Had it not been for some outstanding work by Dan Ellis in the Nashville net, the Wings would have won in a walk.
"That’s probably the best we’ve been all year,’" Wings defenceman Niklas Kronwall said. "A lot of times it’s easy to go out there, have a great start and then kind of sit back and relax and let them take over momentum and come back. (On Friday), we never sat back. We just kept coming at them and coming at them.’"
Still, Detroit knows it will face a challenge in Nashville, where the Red Wings have lost four times – twice in the regular season and twice in the playoffs – already this season.
"They’re not going to quit, that’s one thing we know about Nashville,’’ Red Wings forward Daniel Cleary said. "They’re going to stay on top of us, especially in their building. They’ve played well there throughout the series.
"I expect it’s going to be a fast, hard-hitting, tight game.’’