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Round 2

Predators aren't frustrated after Game 2 loss to Blues

Following first defeat of playoffs, Nashville sees room for improvement

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- The Nashville Predators are in an unfamiliar situation after a 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues in Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round on Friday.

It was the first time the Predators were defeated this postseason after starting the Stanley Cup Playoffs 5-0.

Nashville has a chance to respond in Game 3 of the best-of-7 series at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, TVA Sports, SN).

"I don't think we expected to win 16 games straight and walk to a Stanley Cup," said Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis, who had a goal and an assist. "We were bound to lose a game. Obviously I thought we played a decent game, but we probably didn't deserve to win that one and obviously didn't win that one, so regroup, refocus and learn from our mistakes. Come back stronger next game and be better."

 

[RELATED: Complete Blues vs. Predators series coverage]

 

The Predators led 1-0 and 2-1, but the Blues scored twice in the third period, including the game-winner by Vladimir Tarasenko with 3:51 remaining.

Although Nashville won Game 1 4-3 on Wednesday, they weren't happy with their play at even strength. Following Game 2, they said there is room for improvement.

"There's no time to be frustrated or whatever," Predators forward Ryan Johansen said. "We've got a great hockey club here, and we feel like we didn't play very well in St. Louis for the most part. We had some spurts where we did good things, but we've got a whole other level we can get to."

The Predators had 23 penalty minutes in Game 2, including 15 by Vernon Fiddler after he was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for kneeing Blues defenseman Colton Parayko in the first period. Tarasenko scored a goal on the power-play to tie the game 1-1.

Video: NSH@STL, Gm2: Tarasenko snipes PPG from circle

Staying out of the penalty box will be a major point of emphasis for the Predators, who were shorthanded five times in Game 2 after being shorthanded 10 times in their first five playoff games.

"You play some of the best teams in the League and it's tough to win every night," Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne said. "I think you take the good things out of this game and move on. Obviously it's nice to go home in front of our fans. Tonight, St. Louis, they were good. They had a good start, and we ran into a little bit of penalty trouble, but we battled back like we've done so many times and showed a lot of character."

The Predators won Games 3 and 4 at home to complete their first-round sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks.

"Good situation, 1-1," Rinne said. "It's a series. Obviously going home now and a huge game at home on Sunday. It's going to be a big one, but yeah we're in a good situation."

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