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After Suffering First Playoff Loss, Preds Ready to Bounce Back

Predators Say They Have More to Give as Series Shifts to Nashville

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

It was bound to happen eventually.

Ryan Ellis conceded the fact at his stall in the visiting locker room on Friday night, just moments after the Nashville Predators ended up on the wrong side of the scoresheet for the first time in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The goal, of course, is to win every time the Preds step on the ice, but the law of averages say that they puck doesn't always bounce your way.

"I don't think we expected to win 16 games straight and walk off with the Stanley Cup," Ellis said after Game Two.

The Predators will now try to start a new postseason win streak when they host St. Louis in Game Three of their Round Two series on Sunday afternoon at Bridgestone Arena, a building where they've won six consecutive postseason games dating back to 2016.

"I think we know what type of series this is going to be," Captain Mike Fisher said. "It's going to be a tough series. We're playing a great hockey team, and we just need to respond well here. We're at home now, which is a good thing, and we're looking forward to that game tomorrow."

Video: Fisher, Ellis, Josi and Johansen preview Game Three

One of the talking points prior to Game One was the physicality the Blues bring on a nightly basis. That's been evident through the first two outings of the series, as has their ability to put the puck in the net, particularly from a player like Vladimir Tarasenko, who did so twice in Game Two.

The Preds also found themselves on the penalty kill on five occasions in Game Two, and while they did an admirable job while a man down, it changes the flow of the game. That in turn didn't allow Nashville to play 5-on-5 as much as they'd like to, an area they improved upon from Game One.

"At 5-on-5 I thought we were much better," Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "Just watching the game and the way it played out, I thought 5-on-5 we did a better job of generating offense. Defensively, it was 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 well to the game and in the third period. We got going, and it's unfortunate it didn't work out for us."

Video: Laviolette previews the series shifting to Nashville

A split in St. Louis wasn't the desired goal. However, it also doesn't take a mathematician to figure out that Nashville was going to have to win at least one on the road for a chance to advance - and they've already gotten that task out of the way.

"At the end of the day, it comes down to us," Ellis said. "We feel comfortable if we play our game, we can be competitive with any team. I don't think we've played a full 60 minutes yet [in this series], but we've been right there in both games… We'll learn from our mistakes, move forward and come back better."

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

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