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Preds Look to Take Advantage of Two-Day Stretch Between Playoff Games

Nashville Had Plenty of Time to Regroup, Refocus Ahead of Game 2

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Senior Communications & Content Coordinator

For some, a two-day break between Game 1 and Game 2 has been the perfect scenario. For others, the wait has seemed like an eternity.

But no matter how the Nashville Predators have felt about the past 48 hours, a period that started with a 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars as the Stanley Cup Playoffs began, everyone can agree when the puck drops on Saturday night, the home team will be ready to go.

That sentiment comes from a group that took Thursday as an opportunity to review the good and the bad, get some rest and then hit the ice on Friday. That session didn't feature any differences in line combinations and defensive pairs from Game 1 for the Predators, a sign Nashville is likely to dress the same 18 skaters in Game 2, and a vote of confidence that there isn't much change necessary from the first time out.

"We're down 1-0, but we're not thinking anything like that," Preds defenseman Mattias Ekholm said Friday. "It's a seven-game series, and it's going to be a long series, so we're just preparing for Game 2. That's our mindset. I don't think about what we have to do or what happens if we win or lose or what have you, it's just win Game 2."

In order to do so, the Predators will need to find a way to limit sustained pressure from the Stars that allowed them to score three times over the course of a 30-minute span in Game 1, enough to take the first tilt by one goal.

Video: Simmonds, Josi and Smith preview Game 2 vs. Stars

While there was disappointment and frustration in the immediate aftermath on Wednesday night, possessing a short memory and the ability to move on from the past is key in professional sports, and especially in situations like these.

On Thursday, there was no moping or head hanging, and by the time Friday rolled around, the Preds were back to their normal, jovial selves knowing they wouldn't have to wait much longer for a chance at redemption.

"It's good to get some extra rest," Preds Captain Roman Josi said. "After a loss, you want to get out there a play again pretty quickly, but I think it's good to get some rest and work on some things."

"I always find that when you're carrying something in the playoffs and it doesn't go your way, a good night's rest and the sun coming up tomorrow and going to work and getting on the ice and practicing, I always feel like that helps us a lot," Predators Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "We were able to accomplish some things yesterday, we were able to accomplish some things today, and I feel like sometimes the further you get from that in the rearview mirror, you start thinking about the good things that you need to do again and not the things that didn't happen inside of the game."

Video: Laviolette talks adjustments needed before Game 2

The Preds have had plenty of time to do just that, and they're more than ready for a shot to even things up before heading to Dallas on Sunday afternoon.

And although a two-day wait wasn't wildly popular among Predators players, it could be just what they need in the end.

"We had a really good practice today, good pace, good tempo, and I think everyone knows what we need to do better in order to beat them," Ekholm said. "We have a big game tomorrow, and that's all we're focusing on right now."

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