Big Bridgestone crowd should boost Preds, but offense needs to arrive as well

By John Glennon

    In the moments following their frustrating Game 2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday, the Predators were already looking forward to stepping onto the ice at Bridgestone Arena for Game 3.

    The eagerness was understandable, for a number of reasons:

  • It will be the Preds’ first home playoff contest since 2019, after spending the 2020 postseason in the Edmonton “bubble” due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • It will give the Preds the opportunity to play in front of more than 12,000 fans, the largest home throng Nashville will have had since COVID limited attendance. Previous crowds had been capped at 33 percent of capacity, which translated to about 6,000 fans for recent contests.
  • It should offer the fourth-seeded Preds, a team seeking every advantage it can find, a much-needed adrenaline boost as Nashville attempts to dig out of an 0-2 hole against the top-seeded Hurricanes.

    “We know what our crowd can do to our club and the energy it can bring to us,” Preds center Ryan Johansen said. “It’s exciting to get back to Nashville and use our crowd to our advantage, and go out and get a win.”

    Can a frenetic home crowd, the kind we’re likely to see for Friday . . .

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