In the span of one day, Chris Pronger’s prospects went from “probably coming back in Game 5” to “won’t play tonight” to “don’t expect him back until the second round, at the earliest.” That final prediction comes via the latest update from CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio, who reports that Pronger and Jeff Carter aren’t likely to play another game in the Philadelphia Flyers’ first round series against the Buffalo Sabres.
For Pronger, it seems like’s more about being effective than actually being able to make an appearance. He obviously plays a confrontational, sometimes bullying style of hockey, so few would shed a tear if the Sabres targeted the hulking defenseman’s surgically repaired right hand. Even if something nefarious didn’t happen, he was seen wincing when he took slap shots, a sign that he wouldn’t be able to use that functional part of his game.
It doesn’t sound too great for Carter’s comeback hopes, either. Panaccio reports that Carter is suffering from a severely sprained MCL ligament in his injured right knee after colliding with Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers. The goal-scoring forward was seen wearing a brace today.
Now, it’s important to note that this information comes from anonymous sources. Still, if this is indeed the case, an already challenging series becomes that much more foreboding for the Flyers. Naturally, we’ll keep you updated, as both players’ injury situations are fluid … to say the least.
Keith Urban sang the national anthem for Game 3. Kelly Clarkson did the honors for the Nashville Predators before Game 4. Next up: Trisha Yearwood for Game 6.
The Predators hope to close out the Anaheim Ducks on Monday, and they got off to a nice start with Austin Watson scoring a quick 1-0 goal. Not long after, the Predators added another to build to a 2-0 lead.
Garth Brooks spoiled Yearwood’s appearance a bit before the contest.
Brooks also revealed Yearwood’s early fan creds:
Anaheim Ducks forward Nick Ritchie scored a goal in Game 4, but he won’t be able to provide such a scoring boost for his team in Game 6.
That’s because he was ejected during the first period after hitting rising Nashville Predators star Viktor Arvidsson from behind, bloodying the slick Swede.
Ritchie was whistled for a game misconduct and major. Remarkably, the Ducks killed the entire five-minute power-play opportunity, with Ryan Kesler‘s shorthanded chance being one of the better opportunities for either team.
It’s still a big blunder, but if the Ducks can get back in it, remember that big kill.
Video of the hit is coming soon. For now, check out the GIF:
Oddly, Arvidsson left the ice with a wound that more or less spelled out “R,” presumably for Ritchie, maybe celebrating the return of “Twin Peaks.”
(Such an obvious move might not be surreal enough for David Lynch, though. Alex Prewitt’s Zorro reference might be more, um, on the mark.)
It was already loud at Bridgestone Arena, but the Nashville Predators are making it a madhouse with a strong start against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6.
First, it was Austin Watson, who sent a puck off a Ducks skate to score a 1-0 goal on Nashville’s first shot on Jonathan Bernier, who is starting instead of John Gibson. That came about 90 seconds into the game, really revving up the crowd.
Colton Sissons scored his first goal of the Western Conference Final – on his first shot on goal of the series – to make it 2-0. At that point, Bernier had allowed two goals on three shots on goal. Bernier’s made a few stops since then, but it’s a shaky start for a Ducks team facing elimination.
There’s some solace in that Anaheim’s often at its best in dire situations, though you have to wonder how many times they can bounce back from this?
The Anaheim Ducks won’t have John Gibson back, but the Nashville Predators are dealing with some injury-related letdowns, too.
Craig Smith skated before Game 6, but he opted not to play on Monday. Mike Fisher is also unable to go for the Predators as they aim to eliminate Anaheim.
The Ducks also won’t have Rickard Rakell back in the mix, so this physical Western Conference Final continues to feel like a battle of attrition.
Click here for the official roster report.
Game 5 is airing on NBCSN right now. You can watch online and via the NBC Sports App.
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