Ellis in, will start for Nashville in Game 6

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NASHVILLE — The injury that knocked Ryan Ellis out of Game 5, and this morning’s optional skate, will not keep him out for a potential elimination game at Bridgestone.

In fact, he’ll be starting.

Ellis is officially in the lineup for tonight’s Game 6, after participating in warmup and taking rushes alongside usual defense partner Roman Josi.

Ellis left the aforementioned 6-0 blowout loss with an undisclosed injury in the second period. On Sunday morning, he skated individually prior to his teammates taking the ice. It didn’t look as though he could put much power on his shot, and he didn’t stick around for the club’s optional skate.

But he’s healthy enough to go.

This has to be a fairly big sigh of relief for the Preds and head coach Peter Laviolette. If Ellis was unable to go, Anthony Bitetto or Brad Hunt would’ve drawn into the lineup. Bitetto’s played 27 and 28 games for Nashville in each of the last two seasons, spending the majority of his time in AHL Milwaukee. He hasn’t played this postseason.

Hunt, who also has yet to dress these playoffs, has bounced around over the last few years, playing in Edmonton and St. Louis before landing with Nashville. The Preds claimed him off waivers in January, and he proceeded to play in three games.

Losing Ellis means one of either Yannick Weber or Matt Irwin would’ve been moved from a bottom pairing role into a top-four, alongside Josi.

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