Predators' Mike Fisher: Goal is to be available for Stanley Cup finals

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Predators captain Mike Fisher said Thursday he feels a lot better and that his goal is to be available during the Stanley Cup finals that begins next week.

Fisher skated for the first time with his teammates since being injured May 18 late in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals. He took a knee from Anaheim defenseman Josh Manson off the right side of his head and hasn't played since.

The Predators will play either the Ottawa Senators or Pittsburgh Penguins. Game 1 of the final is Monday night.

Coach Peter Laviolette says getting a player back on the ice always is a positive sign but declined to comment on Fisher's status.

General manager David Poile said Wednesday that the team was hopeful Fisher would be able to return for Game 1.

Poile also said forward Craig Smith, who has played just one game in the past two rounds because of a lower-body injury, will be ready for Game 1. Smith also practiced Thursday.