NHL Hockey

Stars intend to stick to their game against Predators

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

The one-sided shot counter in their opponent's favor on Saturday night didn't faze the Dallas Stars, so don't expect them to change their modus operandi and try to play run-and-gun hockey with the Nashville Predators as their Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round series goes on.

After all, the Stars claimed one victory on the road so they believe they're in a good position with a 1-1 series as they head to Dallas Monday night for the third game of the series.

In fact, the Stars have every right to believe that, with a successful power play, they'd have won Game 2 instead of falling 2-1 in overtime on Saturday. Dallas failed to convert on the six man-advantage opportunities they had in that loss.

"You go 0 for 6, you get a couple of good chances, but you've got to come through," Stars coach Jim Montgomery said. "We need to think shot first. We're all looking at the next play instead of looking to score. That's not only power play but also five-on-five. I thought we passed up too many shots."

The Predators, on the heels of dropping the series opener 3-2, were much better in the second outing, outshooting Dallas by a 43-23 count. To no surprise, Dallas goalie Ben Bishop can give his team a chance to win even with the play that one-sided.

"We knew we were going to get Nashville's best and we did," Montgomery said. "Probably not for Bish, we're not in overtime. We got to come back, and we will. We'll be better."

Which means more grind-it-out hockey, and a plan to limit Nashville's offensive opportunities.

"That was a playoff hockey game there," Stars forward Tyler Seguin said. "We've done a pretty good job at keeping them to the perimeter. We're expecting, maybe, a little different game now that we're going home. We're going to have the juices going for sure."

For their part, the Predators seem to believe Saturday's victory is proof they are rounding into playoff form.

"We created a lot of chances, which is a great sign," Predators goalie Pekka Rinne said. "Our goal is obviously to keep going and build from here and gain everything we can from this win.

"It's a huge win for us," he added. "Now we've tied the series and go in their building and have an opportunity to get the lead. ... You don't want to go too far ahead of yourself - not too high, not too low, enjoy this - but also get ready for the next couple Dallas games."

Nashville was without veteran Brian Boyle due to illness in Saturday's game - although his replacement Rocco Grimaldi provided one of his team's goals in his place - and winger Wayne Simmonds was injured in the first period after being hit by a puck in the knee. Simmonds took a brief shift in the second period, but after that left for good.

According to the Tennessean, Predators coach Peter Laviolette had no updates Sunday on Boyle or Simmonds as the team prepared to head for Dallas, other than to say Boyle was "still ill." Two team spokespeople said they did not know if the players were traveling to Dallas.

--Field Level Media

Updated April 15, 2019

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