Two weeks ago, the 2016 Predators had just made franchise history. In the first round of the postseason, Nashville had gone on the road to face the Pacific Division winning Anaheim Ducks. The Preds emerged victorious from that first leg of their Stanley Cup campaign, taking a 2-0 playoff series lead for the first time since the team’s inception.
Now, Nashville returns to Bridgestone Arena down 0-2 in the same position they forced upon the Ducks. The difference this time is that they are up against an opponent in this San Jose team that won the most road games in the NHL this past regular season.
“It’s not over, there’s a big game tomorrow night,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said of tonight’s Game Three immediately after the team’s plane landed Monday afternoon. “Our players know that. I think I said it after Game Five [against Anaheim] when we lost: we can take a lot of confidence from some of the things that we did. We can’t be happy we lost the game, but we can take confidence from that and build on it and try to get better.”
Confidence is a necessity, but it will take more than that to mount a comeback effort.
The addition of forward Craig Smith, who returned for Game Two after sustaining a lower-body injury in the first round, could help generate some much needed offense. Nashville is a ghastly 2-for-31 in power play situations this postseason.
Puck drop for Game Three is 7:00 PM CT at Bridgestone Arena.