Preds likely to restore pair to lineup

Updated: May 6, 2012, 2:34 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Nashville Predators probably will have two players returning for Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinal series.

Nashville coach Barry Trotz said Saturday that "there's a high probability" forwards Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn will be back in the lineup after missing the past two games.

They were suspended for Game 3 for violating team rules, then were scratched from Game 4 because Trotz didn't want to mess with a lineup that played so well in Nashville's 2-0 Game 3 victory.

"I talked to both of them this morning. We have communicated," Trotz said. "They are part of our family, and they want to be in a position to get on the ice and help. They are back in the right mindset and they can make a difference here."

Trotz left himself open to second-guessing after his offense, without possibly its two best players, fizzled in the home loss to the Coyotes on Friday night. Phoenix leads the best-of-seven series 3-1 and, with a victory on Monday, can advance to the Western Conference finals for the first time in the history of the long-downtrodden franchise.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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