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Round 2

Predators aiming to play to strengths at home against Blues

Nashville focused on feeding off atmosphere at Bridgestone Arena in Game 3

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- The Nashville Predators want to make sure they make the most of home ice advantage in Game 3 of the Western Conference Second Round against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports).

The Predators split the first two games of the series on the road, and their 3-2 loss in Game 2 on Friday was their first of the playoffs. They feel like they have not played up to their potential in the series and are looking to do that back at Bridgestone Arena.

"We feel like we can play better in certain areas for 60 minutes," Predators center Mike Fisher said. "We know there's another gear for us, and we've got to find it here at home."

The Predators liked the way they played at even strength in Game 2 better than they did in Game 1. They will try to build on that and limit the amount of penalties they take (23 minutes in Game 2).

"Well, 5-on-5 I thought we were much better," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "That was the area we were looking to get better in the game. Again, just watching the game and the way it played out, I thought that 5-on-5 we did a better job of generating offense. Defensively, fairly tight.

"We hate the result of the game, but I thought once we got past the point where we were in the penalty box, I thought that our guys responded pretty good to the game. In the third period, we got going. It was just unfortunate it didn't work out for us."

Video: CHI@NSH, Gm4: Josi finishes passing play for second

The Predators are 2-0 at home during the playoffs so far and scored seven goals in the two games that completed a first-round sweep against the Chicago Blackhawks.

"Obviously you want to win every game, but you're playing a lot of good teams," Predators defenseman Roman Josi said. "That's a good team over there. In the playoffs it doesn't matter if you win or lose, you can't go too high or too low. We've got to make sure we prepare … and be ready for [Sunday]."

Nashville's depth has been tested in the playoffs, particularly at forward. In the first two games against the Blues, the Predators finished with 11 forwards; Kevin Fiala left Game 1 with a fractured left femur, and Vernon Fiddler was ejected from Game 2 for kneeing St. Louis defenseman Colton Parayko.

"That's the way it goes," Fisher said. "Those are things you can't control. It kind of throws the momentum off a little bit, or the flow I guess, having guys out, but it's just part of the game."

The Predators held an optional practice Saturday and recalled forward Frederick Gaudreau from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League. Gaudreau, 23, no relation to Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau, had 48 points (25 goals, 23 assists) in 66 AHL games this season.

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