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Preds Not Done Yet as Game 6 Looms in Dallas

Nashville On Brink of Elimination, Believes Past Experiences, Positive Outlook Will Aid in Game 6

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Senior Communications & Content Coordinator

The Predators still woke up and made their way to Bridgestone Arena on Sunday morning.

They still had meetings and discussed what happened a day earlier and what now needs to happen a day later.

They drove to the airport, loaded up the plane in Nashville and took off for Dallas, blue skies as far as the eye could see.

They might be down, but they're not out.

"We're here, and we're still playing hockey in April," Preds forward Filip Forsberg said Sunday. "The sun is shining, and we're ready for a really good test tomorrow night."

Yes, the Stars currently own the 3-2 lead in their Round One series, thanks in large part to wins in Games 4 and 5 that saw Dallas score five goals in each outing. Yes, if the Predators don't find a way to beat the Stars on Monday in Dallas, their season will come to an end.

But there is still time to fix it, no matter how dire things might seem.

The Stars are playing well, but the Predators know they're not playing well enough. It's a recipe that has hurt them of late, especially in a 5-3 loss in Game 5 that saw Nashville commit 19 giveaways in total, too many unforced errors that ended up costing them before the day was done.

Video: Hamhuis, Forsberg, Arvidsson, Turris preview Game 6

"It's hard to put the disappointment of last night's game behind you, but we need to find a way to do it," Preds defenseman Dan Hamhuis said. "We have to learn from it, and build a good mindset going into tomorrow night's game. I think playoff experience certainly helps in order to do that."

As Head Coach Peter Laviolette stated Saturday evening following the loss, this Predators team has to make its own way in this journey, but that's not to say they won't look at where they've come from before, especially in a situation such as this.

"I do think that there's value in the experiences that have been picked up by our group over the years, both winning and losing," Laviolette said. "[There are lots of] scenarios that the core of this group has been through together. They're battle tested, and they're ready for an opportunity like this. Now, we load the plane and we've got to go out there and deliver that. I do think the experiences that we've been through, they make us a little bit tougher in a situation like this. We shouldn't be deer in the headlights when a game like this happens. We've been here before."

In NHL postseason history, the team who wins Game 5 in a 2-2 series comes away as the victors almost 80 percent of the time. Only 55 teams have reversed course. The 2016 Predators were one of those clubs, winning Games 6 and 7 over the Anaheim Ducks to advance to Round Two.

Video: Laviolette values experience, but needs results

The core of this group has done it before, and they intend on doing it again.

Of course, their play on the ice will ultimately do the talking, and it has to be the best they've had all season.

They don't have any other choice.

"Our guys are in a good place as we get on the plane," Laviolette said. "You have to move past what happened, and so getting together this morning before we got on the plane gives us an opportunity to do that, to talk about everything that's happened last night and in this series, and as we board the plane here today, I think our guys are in a really good spot.

"For me, there's a lot of confidence in our group, a lot of belief in our group on how we play the game… Those last two games that we've lost, it's more on us than anything else, and so we've just got to make sure we take care of those things. Take the confidence in how we play the game 5-on-5 and how we play the game on specialty teams and go out to Dallas and get ourselves a win. That's what it comes down to."

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