ANAHEIM, Calif. — Barry Trotz knows who will replace Martin Erat in Game 5. He just is not ready to share that information.
“It will be a game-time [announcement], but do I know where I want to go? Yeah,” Trotz said Friday following his team’s morning skate at the Honda Center. “… We can’t really replace [Erat] but you need guys to fill in.”
The Predators and Ducks continue their Western Conference quarterfinal series, currently tied at two games apiece, 9 p.m. Friday (Fox Sports-Tennssee).
Trotz’s choice is between veteran J-P Dumont and Colin Wilson, a second-year NHL player, neither of who has appeared in the series. A third, highly unlikely, option is center Cal O’Reilly.
Dumont, 33, has 48 games of NHL playoff experience, including 17 with Nashville. He had two goals and two assists in last season’s series with Chicago and a team-high six (four goals, two assists) in 2007 against San Jose.
Wilson, 21, played all 82 games of the regular season. A year ago he appeared in all six postseason contests against Chicago.
The two came off the ice at roughly the same time after the morning skate. Typically, a playr who knows he will not play remains for extra on-ice work.
“We are definitely ready to step in and play a big role,” Dumont said. “Every game we’ve been ready to go. We just have to wait for our chance. We know that one of us will have that chance tonight. So we have to make sure we take advantage of it.”
Erat was one of Nashville’s most-used forwards through the first three games before he sustained an upper body injury in the second period of Game 4 on Sunday. He had one goal and two assists.
He remained in Nashville when the team traveled Thursday and met with a team doctor Friday. Trotz said he had not heard the results of examination and had no update on Erat’s status for the remaining contests.
• Fresh legs: Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan did not exactly kick back and put up his feet during his two-game suspension for stomping the foot of Predators defenseman Jonathon Blum.
“I paid for my suspension in skating after practice but certainly not the wear and tear that these guys have gone through and the level of play and the pace of play that’s going on right now,” he said. “I’m definitely a little more rested than I would be if I had played the last two games, that’s for sure.”
He will return to action in Game 5 and presumably will jump back in with both feet to his spot on the Ducks’ top line with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. Perry (eight points) and Getzlaf (six points) are the two highest scoring players, regardless of team, in the series.
Ryan had two goals, two penalty minutes and a plus-2 rating in the first two contests.
“Maybe a couple of first steps will be a little quicker but the timing and things like that when you take a week off can go,” Ryan said. “It doesn’t take much, especially at this time of year. I’m just going to continue to play my game. Hopefully the fresh legs and everything like that contribute to a big night for our line and for our team.”
• Quote of note: “It’s gone back and forth from game to game and period to period and even shift to shift. It’s changed so much that one team hasn’t really had control of the series at all for a long period of time.” – Nashville captain Shea Weber on the momentum changes through the first four games of the series.
• Bad boy: Ryan returns just as the Ducks lose another forward, Jarkko Ruutu, to a one-game suspension for the hit that knocked out Erat.
Ruutu played just two of the first four games and averaged a mere 6:04 of ice time. More than half his ice time (3:15 per game) has been in penalty killing situations.
“We’re missing a big body that kills penalties, [is] aggressive on the forecheck and is basically a good team guy,” Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. “That’s what we’re missing.”
• By the numbers: 2 – Anaheim players suspended through the first four games. The league has suspended a total of five players through the entire first week of the postseason.
8 – different Nashville forwards who have scored at least one goal in the series.
11 – goals scored by the Ducks top offensive forwards, Perry, Ryan, Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne. The rest of the team has combined for three goals.
18 – blocked shots by Anaheim’s Francois Beacuchimen. He is the only player in the series with 10 or more. Nashville has no one with more than six.
53.6 – David Legwand’s success rate on faceoffs. He has not won more than 50 percent in any of Nashville’s previous five playoff series’.