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Preds Confident In Ability To Bounce Back In Game 2

Posted: 6:21 PM, May 31, 2017
Updated: 2017-05-31 19:21:40-04

The Predators are far from panic after losing game one of the Stanley Cup Final to the Penguins.

But heading into game two Wednesday (7 p.m. CST), they are aware of the simple math in the equation.

In order to hoist the Stanley Cup, the Preds need to beat the Penguins four times. The loss in game one means they now have one less opportunity to get it done.

"I would rather be in their shoes," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said Tuesday. "I'd rather have that game one win because you need four out of seven, so now it's down to six to try and grab the four."

Not an easy task against the reigning champs, but far from daunting for a Predators' team that swept the Blackhawks and eliminated the Blues and Ducks in six games a piece.

The Preds remain confident in large part to the way they played in game one, when they tilted the ice in their favor for large chunks of the game, outshooting the Penguins 26-12.

"There were a lot of positives for us to take out of (game one)," defenseman P.K. Subban said. "It's the Stanley Cup Finals, you've got to play a full 60 minutes. We did a lot of good things, but we have to do great things to win our next one."

The effort was there in game one and the Predators believe their gameplan is sound. They held the Penguins without a single shot from the start of the second period until Jake Guentzel's game-winning goal with 3:17 to play.

But they have to be better in the big moments against an explosive Penguins' attack that led the NHL in scoring and has been in these Stanley Cup Final battles before.

This is the first time all postseason the Predators have trailed in a series, and they do not want to head home to Nashville down 2-0.

"We've got a job to do here and it's a big job," defenseman Ryan Ellis said. "We need to play our game, but obviously a better game because it wasn't good enough last time. Obviously, 1-1 would be a lot better feeling in this room than (down 2-0)."

The Predators can rely on previous experience bouncing back from tough losses. In all four of the team's defeats in the playoffs, they've rebounded to win the next game.

That includes a game five victory in Anaheim after the team's lone home loss of the postseason without either Ryan Johansen or Mike Fisher available.

"We still have full belief in our group that we're going to go out and win a hockey game tonight," said Predators center Colton Sissons. "We're looking to play a good game tonight and we're not looking at anything past that."

History says game two is important. Teams that take a 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final go on to win the series 90 percent of the time.

That makes this the most important bounce back game of the postseason for the Predators. A win steals home ice advantage away, while a loss puts the Penguins in complete control.

"Game one's behind us," Predators captain Mike Fisher said. "We draw on some of the things we did well, but realize we've got to be better. We've got to find a way to win like they did in game one. I think we're ready for that challenge."