Flames’ Cervenka moves back to KHL

Calgary forward Roman Cervenka has returned to the KHL, agreeing to a deal with Lev Praha.

The 26-year-old has yet to play for the Flames since signing a one-year, $3.77 million deal in May. The lockout has prevented him from both suiting up and making good on a number of performance bonuses (Cervenka inked an incentive-laden deal; his base salary is $925,000.)

Cervenka had spent the lockout playing for Slavia Praha of the Czech Extraliga, scoring 13 points in nine games, but is now primed to return to the Russian league in which he made a name for himself.

In 2009-10, Cervenka teamed with Jaromir Jagr to play for Avangard Omsk, and the pair emerged as one of the league’s most dynamic scoring duos. Last year, with Jagr in Philly, Cervenka shouldered the load solo and wound up leading the KHL in playoff scoring (22 points in 20 games.)

“[Flames assistant GM] John Weisbrod went to see him play early in the KHL Playoffs and came away confirming everything we had heard from our scouts in Europe,” Flames GM Jay Feaster said upon signing Cervenka. “We made an aggressive pitch to convince him that Calgary was the perfect place for him to start his NHL career, and we are extremely pleased Roman agreed.”

With Lev Praha, Cervenka will play alongside fellow locked-out NHLers Zdeno Chara, Jakub Voracek and, perhaps most interestingly, new Flames teammate Jiri Hudler.

Video: Trisha Yearwood sings national anthem for Preds-Ducks

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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:

Nick Ritchie ejected after boarding, bloodying Viktor Arvidsson (Video)

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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.)

Video: Predators storm off to 2-0 lead, beguile Bernier early on

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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?

No Mike Fisher or Craig Smith for Predators in Game 6

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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.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE.