The Nashville Predators know Game Five in San Jose – a 5-1 loss to give the Sharks a 3-2 series lead – wasn’t their best. Now, Nashville will have to bring their finest in order to keep their season alive.
The performance in Game Five, the Preds say, is uncharacteristic of how they can play, heading into Game Six tonight at Bridgestone Arena. The club also believes they were the better team in Games Two, Three and Four of the series against the Sharks. Knowing the kind of effort they’ve put forth against San Jose over large stretches of time gives the Preds confidence heading into their third elimination game of these playoffs.
“We were on our heels too much, for whatever reason,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said of Game Five. “I’m not going to sit here and make excuses, we didn’t play the game we need to play in order to be successful. We’ll look to change that tonight, get things going in a different direction, but the previous three games are more of a representation of who we are as a team and the way we need to play in order to be successful. The last game was not; we won’t find success playing that way.”
The Predators also faced a 3-2 deficit in Round One against Anaheim, eventually prevailing in seven games. Before they can even think about returning to San Jose, Laviolette and his group must first focus on what’s made them successful, in both Rounds One and Two, in order to arrive at that point.
“We shouldn’t rest on that, we shouldn’t just assume that it’s going to happen,” Laviolette said. “There’s a lot that goes into those situations. I do think that you can take some confidence from that, knowing that you’ve been here before and that you’ve done it before. We have to make sure that the mindset is right. We have to change our game and our attitude from Game Five to Game Six to be in a better place. Knowing our guys, I’m sure they’ll do that tonight, but we’ve got a lot of work to do in order to dig out of a hole that we’re in and a situation that we’re in.”