The situation is all too familiar.
Down three games to two to the Anaheim Ducks in the first round of this year’s NHL Playoffs, the Nashville Predators battled back to win Games 6 and 7 in that series to advance to the next round.
Tonight, the Predators return home to Bridgestone Arena facing the exact same elimination scenario.
Nashville spent most of Game 5 on their heels when they were dominated by their Californian hosts 5-1 Saturday night. Neither the Ducks nor the Sharks have lost in their home venue in this Western Conference semifinal, which comes as somewhat of a surprise considering that San Jose was the NHL’s best road team this season.
“We’ve been in this position before, backs against the wall,” defenseman Ryan Ellis told the media. “It usually brings out the best in people. It did last series, hopefully it does for us this time.”
The Predators may have more than luck on their side, as the aforementioned Sharks have lost eight of their last nine visits to Smashville, according to ESPN.com. That, combined with debilitated Sharks’ power play (1 for 9 in two postseason losses in Nashville), bode well for the home team.
Nashville fans hope to keep riding the home-ice success streak, especially if the result is even half as exciting as Game 4’s triple overtime.
*Puck drop is scheduled for 8:00 PM CT