The good news is that the Nashville Predators have not trailed for even a second in any of their least three games.
The bad news is that they have not displayed their typical ability to hold a lead. In two of those contests they’ve allowed their opponents to come from behind and tie the score a total five times – twice from two-goal deficits.
“Usually when you give up a lead like that it’s a matter of kind of sitting back and trying to protect the lead,” forward Matt Cullen said. “In this league you can’t really do that. … I think that you need to continue to try to dictate the play and try to take it to them and play in the offensive end.”
Whatever the reason, it finally cost them a point Tuesday against the Colorado Avalanche, their first home game following four straight on the road.
The last of their three leads lasted just 44 seconds of the third period and eventually they lost 5-4 in a shootout. Heck, they even led the shootout following the first round, courtesy of a spectacular conversion by rookie center Calle Jarnkrok, but Colorado’s last two skaters delivered and Nashville’s did not.
Nashville led the Colorado for 43:34 of regulation.
The issue first surfaced last Thursday at Calgary, a game the Predators won 6-5 after having blown the lead twice in the second period. In between they stifled the Chicago Blackhawks from start to finish in a 2-0 triumph.
A look at the leads the Nashville Predators have lost in the last week:
Tuesday vs. Colorado
• Led 2-0, 9:49 of first period
• Tied 2-2, 8:41 of second period
• Led 3-2, 14:43 of second period
• Tied 3-3, 12:25 of third period
• Led 4-3, 15:17 of third period
• Tied 4-4, 16:01 of third period
Thursday at Calgary
• Led 3-1, 4:10 of second period
• Tied 3-3, 7:14 of second period
• Led 4-3, 8:06 of second period
• Tied 4-4, 13:31 of second period
“We’re playing with a lot of younger guys right now,” coach Barry Trotz said. “We’ve got to learn from it. … There’s not a lot you can practice. You just have to go through it. You have to play with some poise and you have to make a real strong play. In those situations, you just have to lock that down. That’s going to come with experience.”
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