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playoffs

Predators welcome rest before Game 7

Nashville has traveled more than 15,000 miles since start of playoffs

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- The Nashville Predators will get two days off for the first time in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs before Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).

The Predators have played every second day since their playoff run began on April 15 against the Anaheim Ducks in the first round. They have traveled more than 15,000 miles during the playoffs and each of their series will have gone to a Game 7.

Two days off between games is a welcome sight for the Predators.

"I can't even tell you," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "We just kept saying let's get through [Game 6] and we've got two days. We have not had anything, and it's been nonstop with the travel and the fact that we're every other day since the playoffs started. It's really good for our group. We need that break, and I feel like it'll give us a push when we go out there for Game 7."

The Predators have been a team in the playoffs that simply doesn't go away. They trailed 3-2 in their first-round series against the Ducks and came back to win. They trailed 2-0 in the second round against the Sharks and came back to tie it 2-2. The Predators trailed 2-0 and 3-2 in Game 6 against the Sharks and came back to win.

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"We've been down in games throughout this whole playoffs," Predators forward Mike Fisher said. "We've found a way when chips are down to get wins and to get goals in big moments. We're going to need that again because we're in [for a tough game] in their building in a couple of nights." 

The Predators played the first Game 7 in their history in the first round, a 3-2 win against the Ducks at Honda Center, and feel they can be successful on the road again if they play their style of hockey.

"I mean the confidence is good," Predators defenseman Roman Josi said. "Obviously it's a different series, but you can still take a lot with you. We've just got to play our game. The whole series, whenever we play our game and attack, I thought we were the better team. We've got to do it for 60 minutes, and that's it." 

The Predators have an opportunity to advance to the Western Conference Final for the first time. Laviolette is 13-6 in elimination games in his NHL coaching career and 5-1 in Game 7. 

"This is our journey and of course I believe in that," Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne said. "I believe this is our year, and you've got to take ownership. You try to do everything you can to make it happen, and obviously we aren't even halfway yet. But we've been playing a lot of hockey, and hopefully it continues." 

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