Thursday morning's video session confirmed Wednesday night's eye test.
An overriding theme from Peter Laviolette's press conference following Nashville's 3-2 loss in Game 1 to Dallas on Wednesday night was the Stars were simply quicker than the Predators through a majority of the game.
The Preds jumped out and attacked their opponent in the first 20 minutes of the evening to amass a 1-0 lead, and they almost tied things back up after allowing the next three goals, but through the second stanza and most of the third, it didn't go the home team's way.
"You really want to get off to a good start with a win and do a lot of great things, but that's not always the case when you're going up against good teams in the playoffs," Preds center Ryan Johansen said Thursday. "We are definitely a little frustrated today. You want to come out with a win, especially in our building in Game 1, but now it's just about moving forward and focusing on the next game."
Moving forward involved the Predators addressing the period of time when Dallas was simply the better team on Wednesday night with the focus now turning to Saturday's Game 2 and what needs to be better.
Video: Laviolette says Preds ready to regroup
"It has to do with team speed, and you can always talk about it in two different ways," Laviolette said after reviewing the loss with his club. "You can talk about it from the actual speed of a player or the speed and the identity in which you're trying to play. If you think about gears after the first period, we went down a gear, they went up a gear or two, and that's enough to make a difference in a 3-2 hockey game."
What's always difficult to level with in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is the range of emotions that comes with a win or a loss, especially in the first outing of a series. The Predators happened to be on the wrong side of that initial skirmish in this installment.
Disappointing? Yes. Frustrating? Sure. Debilitating? Not in the slightest.
"We've all been here," Preds forward Colton Sissons said. "We've had plenty of losses under our belts, and it feels like it's five losses in a row right now [with the magnitude of the playoffs], but it's just the first game of the playoffs. There's room for improvement, there's areas that we can clean up and be better at, and we'll do that. We know exactly what we need to do."
Video: Ellis, Sissons talk Preds mindset
Yes, the execution wasn't there throughout the entire night for the Predators, but they don't feel as though the overall process is completely broken. Rather, it's more about finding different ways to create consistent chances against the Stars while not allowing Dallas to have a prolonged stretch of pressure in the Nashville end.
"Their team game was just a little faster in the second period there," Johansen said. "It wasn't like they were working harder than us or anything like that. They just played a smarter game which turned out for their team to have more speed than ours in the second period and vice-versa. When we were doing our thing, we looked faster. I felt like we let that one get away from us and we just need to be more complete."
"At times they were faster, at times we were faster, and that's what the playoffs are," Preds defenseman Ryan Ellis said. "You can't be the fastest team, the best team, the hardest hitting team every single shift. That's not sports. I think limiting their times that they are cycling or skating harder or whatever, I think limiting that time is what we need to do better, but it is playoff hockey."
Video: Johansen, Granlund talk Preds vs. Stars
Having two days between games, especially when dealing with a loss on the front half, isn't always ideal. However, in this situation, it might actually play into Nashville's favor.
The extra 24 hours allows the Preds to really take their time to digest everything, re-evaluate if necessary and prepare for what's to come in Game 2.
Heading back to Dallas with at least one win in their pocket isn't imperative for the Preds, but it would sure put them in a better spot than the other option. Now, it's up to them to get it done.
"We knew we weren't going to win every game," Laviolette said. "We would've liked to have won the first one, it didn't go our way. So now we deal with that and move forward. I do think that by the end of the day you've got to put it behind you and get ready for the next game."