Mike Fisher is a known name to many. In hockey circles, Fisher is a hardworking and veteran leader for the Nashville Predators. In the music and entertainment world, he’s known as the husband of country music superstar Carrie Underwood.
However, Fisher showed his heart last night in the Nashville Predators 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in game five of its Western Conference first round series. The win helped the Preds stave off elimination and force a game six in at 8 p.m. Saturday at the United Center in Chicago.
Preds Missed Mike Fisher After Injury
Fisher had been battling a lower-body injury later in the season, but was ready to go for game one against Chicago. That stay was short-lived after he aggravated that nagging injury in the opening game of the series.
The wheels came off after the injury and the Blackhawks erased a 3-0 deficit to steal game one, 4-3, in double overtime.
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Nashville managed to tie the series without Mike Fisher with a 6-2 win in game two, but he was missed in game three and four losses at Chicago. The team once again had trouble in the second period of game three, and he was missed in the 3-2 triple overtime loss in game four.
Fisher would have been a veteran presence that has been through the playoff wars with the Ottawa Senators and the Nashville Predators. Fisher was one of the top six scorers and can win faceoffs. He may have been able to spark a Predators offense that has dealt with some of its issues.
Fisher Returns for Game 5
Many thought Mike Fisher would not be ready for the do-or-die game five, but he was present for Thursday’s morning skate as reported by Adam Vingan of the Tennessean.
Mike Fisher is on the ice for the Game 5 morning skate. So is Eric Nystrom.
— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) April 23, 2015
Fisher took part in practice and was hopeful that he would be in the lineup, but he did not want to talk about his playing status.
“We don’t speculate on in or out,” Fisher said after participating in the morning skate. “I don’t want to talk about lineups. Obviously, I’m hoping to get back sometime soon. We’re in a position where we just need to win tonight. These guys have responded well all year, so we’re looking just (to) play as hard as we can.”
However, the early team sheets listed him as a scratch. Fisher took part in warm ups and looked good in pre-game rushes.
Mike Fisher was given the green light to play on Thursday and he helped out in his 14:54 of ice time. He won 5-of-10 faceoffs, blocked a pair of shots and delivered two hits. His biggest contribution was assisting the recently snubbed for the Calder Trophy nominee Filip Forsberg’s second goal.
Fisher made a great pass to the streaking Forsberg, who potted home the goal to give the Preds a 4-1 lead. Fisher sucked in a pair of Blackhawks defenders and made a great pass through traffic to Forsberg.
Nashville may not win the series, but Mike Fisher gives the team better odds to complete a miracle comeback against Chicago.
It’s going to be a tall order to win game six in a hostile environment against a Blackhawks team that are experts at closing out series in the sixth game. However, the Predators have shown a ton of heart this series, and Mike Fisher has shown plenty of heart in his own right.
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Dan Mount is a Nashville Predators staff writer for The Hockey Writers. You can follow him on Twitter, @DanMountSports.