After scoring just two goals in two games without Andrei Kostitsyn and Alex Radulov, the Nashville Predators will re-insert the pair for tonight’s Game 5 in Phoenix.
Upon learning he was back in the lineup, Kostitsyn said all the right things to Josh Cooper of The Tennessean.
“I’m happy to go back to the lineup,” he said following Sunday’s practice. “I’ll try to do the best for my team and help my team tomorrow night.
“We’ll try to play better, me and Rads, when we come back to the team, try to help and win the game, then come back to Nashville and win the next game.”
(Radulov declined to speak about his return to the lineup.)
Preds head coach Barry Trotz has come under fire for holding Kostitsyn and Radulov out in Game 4, which he deemed a “hockey decision” after the pair were punished by sitting Game 3. Nashville looked anemic offensively in the 1-0 loss, putting just 25 shots on goal (and only two on three power play opportunities.)
Preds forward Mike Fisher figures the pair will re-ignite a dormant offense.
“I think they’re obviously going to add that scoring element for us,” Fisher told The Tennessean. “I think in light of everything, you know, they’ll be ready and bring some passion to the game.
“We all know it’s not fun sitting out, so I think they’re going to come back fired up and be real big for us.”