NHL.com: Preds know fast bounce-back is needed

Sunday, 04.25.2010 / 3:57 PM CT / Nashville Predators Playoffs Coverage
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NHL.com: Preds know fast bounce-back is needed
CHICAGO – The Nashville Predators sat at their lockers Saturday evening with blank stares and their pads still strapped in place.

The sting of losing Game 5 to the Chicago Blackhawks in a tight Western Conference Quarterfinals series was still fresh in their minds. Like most who watched the overtime thriller, the Preds couldn’t believe what transpired.

They’d just seen Chicago’s Patrick Kane backhand a shorthanded goal past Pekka Rinne off a rebound to tie it with just 13.6 seconds left in regulation. Then Marian Hossa scored the game winner just 10 seconds after being released from the penalty box after a major boarding call gave Nashville a power play for the first four minutes of overtime.

It was a surreal ending. Suddenly the Preds were down 3-2 in the series instead of up by a game headed back to Nashville for Monday’s Game 6 (9 p.m. ET, TSN). They looked stunned in the aftermath, but vowed to bounce back strong Monday.

"I’m not really worried about how it ended," said forward Steve Sullivan, who assisted on Nashville’s first goal and finished plus-1 during 19:56 of ice time. "You know … it ended. We’ve got to find a way to regroup here and get ready for the next one."

Sitting just a few feet away was forward Joel Ward, who tallied a goal and an assist. Ward was also standing in front of the Nashville goal when Kane slid in behind him, scooped a rebound near his feet and flicked it into the goal to give the Hawks new life. In the Chicago dressing room, Kane called it the biggest goal that he’d ever scored.

Ward just hunched his shoulders and tried to explain what happened.

"There were two guys in front of me, and they just got a rebound and put one in," he said. "I don’t know what else to yell you. It definitely hurts to lose."

Ward also had the puck deflect off his stick right to Hossa on the game winner. He looked dazed, but was blunt when asked how the Preds will respond.

"You’ve just got no choice," he said. "It’s do-or-die now. Simple as that. It was a tough loss, but we’ve got no choice but to get back home and win there."

They can also learn something from it -- particularly how to play with a lead late in games. After Hossa’s penalty, the Predators centered the puck on their power play in the Hawks' zone instead of keeping it near the boards with the clock winding down.

That allowed Jonathan Toews to collect the puck and bring it up while Hawks goalie Antti Niemi skated off for an extra attacker to make it 5-on-5. Kane scored not long after, and just like that the Preds went from the verge of stealing one to the verge of letting it slip away.

"That would have been a steal for sure if we’d have won that game, but we didn’t deserve it," Rinne said. "We just have to learn from this. Those last few minutes we have to play winning hockey. Now it’s going to be a big test on Monday. We’ve got to bounce back."

Author: Brian Hedger | NHL.com Correspondent

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

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HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Wilson 9 2 5 4 7
R. Johansen 9 3 3 1 6
R. Josi 9 0 6 -3 6
S. Weber 9 2 3 -4 5
M. Ekholm 9 3 1 2 4
J. Neal 9 2 1 -3 3
M. Fisher 9 2 1 -3 3
F. Forsberg 9 1 2 -6 3
C. Smith 6 1 1 3 2
R. Ellis 9 0 2 0 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 4 5 0 .915 2.48
C. Hutton 0 0 0 .000 0.00