DETROIT — Nashville had a 2-1 lead in its opening round series with Chicago in the 2010 playoffs and eventually lost in six games. The Blackhawks went on to win the Stanley Cup.
“Along the road of being a franchise, you go through a lot of hard lessons,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “I know Detroit, a number of years (ago), really went through some hard lessons when they had some really good teams and they learned from that and they’ve been a real strong franchise ever since. They’ve won some Cups and did all those things that we aspire to do. There’s not that many guys left from that group, but those are still lessons for our organization and guys remember that.
“It was ironic the first game of that next (postseason) after that Chicago incident we had the same thing happen in Game 1 and it was against Anaheim and we handled it quite well,” Trotz added. “I think we’ve learned a lesson and this is a whole new group.”
The Predators won their first playoff series in franchise history last year before falling to Vancouver.
“You can’t let up against these guys,” Predators defenseman Kevin Klein said. “If you give them Game 5, it’s a 3-2 series. Game 5 is huge. You don’t want to have to come back here. We’re going to have to do everything in our power to do that.”
“We got our two wins, but we have to close it and focus on the next game already,” Nashville forward Martin Erat said.
Last year, the Wings trailed 3-0 in their Western Conference semifinal series with San Jose. Detroit won the next three games before falling in Game 7 to the Sharks.
“Just like last year, we thought we were playing really well, deserved to win a couple games and it didn’t happen,” Jimmy Howard said. “Here we are back in the same boat a year later. We have to concentrate on the one game Friday night and go from there.”
Just 20 teams in NHL playoff history have comeback from a 3-1 deficit in a series, in 229 tries. And it has happened just three times since 2004.
“Right now we’re only looking at one game,” Niklas Kronwall said. “We can’t win them all in one. One game and we’ll bring it home again.”
Detroit has comeback from a 3-1 deficit in a series twice in team history – 1987 against the Toronto Maple Leafs and in 1992 against the Minnesota North Stars.