After the team’s awful performance against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday, the Nashville Predators are likely to shake things up for Game 5 on Saturday.

First, at practice Friday morning, there were some notable additions and at least one notable subtraction.

The addition of Brian Boyle and Wayne Simmonds to the lineup is a very good thing. Though Simmonds didn’t add much in the first two games, Boyle certainly did. He brought his usual veteran leadership, not to mention a heavy physical game.

However, Rocco Grimaldi was not on the ice for practice. Not having Grimaldi is going to hurt the Predators. If he is unable to play on Saturday, the Preds lose significant speed in the lineup, not to mention his two goals in the series.

*Update: Laviolette said after practice that today was a maintenance day for Grimaldi. That’s good news and likely means he would be back in the lineup on Saturday.

Line Shakeup

Friday’s practice also featured some interesting line changes. Here were the lines according to Brooks Bratten and Robby Stanley.

The first thing you’ll notice is the 2nd line is entirely blown up. Mikael Granlund, Kyle Turris, and Craig Smith have been separated for the first time in a while. This is probably for the best, because although that line generated some good chances, they’ve only generated one goal at even strength.

The new 2nd line features Colton Sissons and Calle Jarnkrok with Mikael Granlund, bringing together three forwards with good speed and forechecking ability. Look for this line to be very active in the offensive zone and still be able to recover on defense.

The new 3rd line is also interesting. Craig Smith joins Austin Watson and Nick Bonino. Bonino’s line has lacked any offensive punch in the series so far, so adding Smith to his wing helps that.

The 4th line is a work in progress and we probably won’t know what it looks like until 2 PM on Saturday. I would imagine Kyle Turris is in at center, along with Boyle and either Salomaki or Simmonds. If Turris doesn’t play, which wouldn’t be shocking, look for Frederick Gaudreau to get his first start in the playoffs in a while.

Ryan Johansen’s line remains untouched. That’s not surprising, though we do need to finally see some production from that line. Through four games, that line has generated 27 scoring chances and 9 high danger chances, but have yet to score a goal.

— Featured image via Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports —

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