Before the Nashville Predators can look ahead to what’s still to come in their Round Two series with the San Jose Sharks, they’re focusing on the present. That means Game Three tonight against the Sharks at Bridgestone Arena, with a chance for the Preds to cut San Jose’s series lead in half, or give their opponent a stranglehold on the set.
“You just try and focus on the game tonight, and in the playoffs, you make sure you’re ready for the next game,” defenseman Roman Josi said after the team’s morning skate ahead of Game Three. “We’re confident, and it was a good practice [this morning]. Guys were loose out there, and the confidence is good in the room.”
The Preds went up 2-0 in their Round One series against the Anaheim Ducks, only to see their opponent win the next three. Nashville knows things are far from over, and they’ll look to put that belief in motion tonight.
“We learned a 2-0 series lead means nothing,” forward Colin Wilson said. “We went back and lost our next three, so it doesn’t matter how we win four games, as long as we get there. We like the way we stack up against them when we’re playing our game.
“I think we can raise it another level, but at the same time, we’re doing the right things. We’re playing fast and hard and we just didn’t get the bounces [in Game Two], so I think we’re going to look to play the same way.”
Past experiences, combined with a longstanding belief in the Nashville locker room, could lead to what the club is ultimately looking for. But they have to start with one win at a time.
“We need to win a hockey game, and we need to really just focus on this one game,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “I think there’s a lot of confidence in our room with our guys that we can win, and we can be successful.
“We have to get better. We’re not winning games, and wins are the most important thing this time of the year. But coming back home, taking some of those positives and trying to better from where we were is a step in the right direction.”