Predators hopeful Fisher can return for game one


The Nashville Predators could get one of their key players back in time for the Stanley Cup Finals as Mike Fisher nears a return.

Nashville general manager David Poile said he is hopeful captain Fisher can participate in practice on Thursday, adding there was "a real good chance" he could return in game one of the championship series.

Fisher, who has yet to record a point in 14 playoff games after logging 42 points in 72 regular-season games, initially suffered a head injury in the team's game four loss to the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference Finals.

Although he sat out the next two games, he was present on the ice for the Predators' trophy celebration following Monday's game six victory.

Nashville will be without center Ryan Johansen for the remainder of the postseason, but could get another boost if winger Craig Smith is deemed healthy enough to return.

Smith has not played since the team's second-round game six win over the St Louis Blues on May 7.

The Predators secured their first ever spot in the Finals after eliminating the Ducks on Monday.

Nashville now await Thursday's game seven showdown between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators to determine their opponents.