Originally posted on Inside Smashville  |  Last updated 5/1/12

With Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn sitting out of Game 3 for violating a team rule, the Nashville Predators will be without two players considered to be top-six forwards.

The on-ice leadership group of the Predators was told about the decision to suspend Radulov and Kostitsyn for Game 3.

“As a leadership group, we talked with Trotz. We said [to him] whatever you decide we will stand by you. We’re in the playoffs, and we don’t need distractions. Tomorrow, we have to clear our minds and get back to play,” defenseman Ryan Suter said.

When asked specifically if Suter agreed with the decision to sit the players he responded “in some ways, yeah.”

On Wednesday night, Nashville will look to get back to Predator-style hockey, with an emphasis on defense. The lineup will look a lot like the Predators that got the team to the playoffs in the first place.

“We won all year with everyone,” Suter said. “It’s going to take everyone to continue to win. Tomorrow night, whoever is going to play, 20 guys that are in the lineup have to come out and play the way we’re capable of playing.

“You want to have your top players in every situation. But we’ve won all year with other guys coming in and stepping up and playing a big part. I expect tomorrow to be no different.”

Predators Captain Shea Weber echoed Suter’s assessment of the situation.

“Everyone needs to be held to the same standards, and I think that’s good. I think that everyone in here knows what the rules are, and we’re just going to move forward. We’re focused on the game tomorrow. We dug ourselves a hole, and we have to find a way to get out of it,” he said.

While General Manager David Poile called the situation a distraction to the team, by the end of practice, it had appeared that the players were ready to move forward.

“We’re putting it behind us. It is what it is. It happened, and there’s nothing we can do to get it back. We’ve got guys that are capable of playing. They’ve done it all year and I’m sure they’re looking forward to their opportunity to step up and be a game changer,” Weber said.

Those players in question include Matt Halischuk, Jordin Tootoo and Craig Smith. Head Coach Barry Trotz indicated that two of those three players would be in the lineup, suggesting that Colin Wilson will play Game 3. Wilson played his first playoff game on Sunday night.

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