Predators’ painful playoff defeat not the only storyline of a transformative season

By John Glennon

    We’ll get the ugliness out of the way up front.

    Twice in three nights, the Predators headed into the third period of a playoff game with a one-goal lead -- a chance to take a series lead over Carolina in Game 5 on Tuesday, and a chance to extend the series to a winner-take-all in Game 6 on Thursday.

    Twice they failed to hold the advantage, succumbing in those situations as many times in consecutive postseason contests as they had the entire regular season.

    In the third period of the playoff finale at Bridgestone Arena, the Predators saw disaster stem from both a teamwide lack of pushback and a lack of attention to individual detail.

    Examples?

    The Preds had no collective answers for the Hurricanes’ surge in the third period, as Nashville was outshot 16-5 and outchanced 14-3. Carolina is one of the NHL’s most talented teams, so it was no surprise to see the Hurricanes take their play to another level as they tried to rally. But the Preds were plagued by poor break-out passes and sloppy neutral-zone turnovers as well.

    “They turned it up for sure,” Predators center Ryan Johansen said. “But I think . . .

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