Posted January 18, 2013 on AP on Fox
Despite losing one of the top defensemen in the league, the Nashville Predators still believe they're ready to take the next step in the postseason. The Columbus Blue Jackets simply look to take a positive first step after finishing with the league's worst record a year ago. The Predators remain focused on making another run at the elusive Stanley Cup in Saturday night's opener against the visiting Blue Jackets. Nashville (48-26-8) finished in fourth place in the Western Conference with 104 points - the third-most in franchise history - and defeated Detroit in the first round of the 2011-12 playoffs before losing to Phoenix in five games in the conference semifinals. It was the second straight loss in the conference semifinals for a Predators team that has reached the postseason in seven of the past eight years. "We've shown ourselves that we can play against anybody,'' goalie Pekka Rinne said. "And for sure it's going to be a tight schedule...
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