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Predators off to Rough Start as Team Looks to Get in Sync

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Nashville started the season playing two of the toughest the Central Division has to offer.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

After splitting the first two games of the season with the division rival Chicago Blackhawks, the Predators schedule did not get any easier Tuesday night.

The Predators lost a second consecutive game to a division foe, this time to the Dallas Stars, 2-1 at Bridgestone Arena.

“It wasn’t a great game for us,” goaltender Pekka Rinne said after the game. “We obviously need to be better. Playing Central games, the first three games we went 1-2, its not the start we want but these are huge games.

“We can’t choose our schedule; it is what it is. But it’s a great schedule for us, it gets us going and lets us play against top teams. But we didn’t show it on the ice tonight.”

The Predators only goal against the Stars came in the second period on a power play goal from Mike Fisher. Through three games, the Predators have five power play goals to just two 5-on-5 goals.

It’s still early, however, the team’s lack of 5-on-5 scoring has to be a little concerning.

“We've got to be better and find way to create and bury,” Fisher said. “I don’t feel like we’re in sync right now and it’s definitely one of those things we’ve got to find ways to be better.

“I don’t feel like we worked hard enough tonight. We just weren’t making smart plays, and helping ourselves, and supporting each other, and making it easier on our line-mates.”

Added Ryan Johansen: “I thought Dallas did a good job of keeping us to the outside tonight. Maybe we’ve got to make better decisions and stuff, but we can look at that and find ways to create more on 5-on-5 for sure.”

Starting the season with three straight division games is what the Predators wanted. Losing two of those three games however, is not the start they envisioned.

“I'm not happy with the 1-2 start,” Rinne said. “These are huge points, huge central division games. Splitting against Chicago that’s alright, but tonight I think we all are disappointed not only by the result but also with the effort tonight.”