The Nashville Predators and Phoenix Coyotes both were reminded what it’s like to lose when they had their respective win streaks snapped on Tuesday.
Yet if the Predators have their way, they’ve already forgotten all about a 3-1 loss to Dallas, in a game in which the Stars took fewer shots (14) than any visiting team at Bridgestone Arena ever.
“Our motto since the Olympic break has been ‘Short-term memory, win or lose,’” forward Steve Sullivan said. “(Tuesday) was going to be no different than after a great victory (Sunday) at St. Louis. It’s going to be short-term, forget about it and get ready for the next one.”
‘The next one’ in this case is Thursday’s matchup with the Coyotes (7 p.m., Bridgestone Arena, Fox Sports-Tennessee) in what potentially could be a preview of a first-round playoff matchup.
Following the loss to Dallas, Nashville was sixth in the Western Conference standings but with the same amount of points as fifth-place Los Angeles. The Kings were considered in front by virtue of fewer games played.
Phoenix was in fourth following a defeat in Chicago.
The fourth and fifth-place teams at the end of the regular season will face each other in the first round of the postseason.
The Predators and Coyotes got where they are presently with extended win streaks. Nashville won six in a row prior to Tuesday, and Phoenix won nine straight — five of them in shootouts.
“You want to keep rolling as long as you can, especially the way the standings are — how tight they are,” defenseman Shea Weber said. “You think your energy is going to stay there, but for some reason (Tuesday) night it wasn’t and we have to correct that for Thursday.”
The win streak ended one short of the longest this season.
When the Predators won seven straight back in November, they responded to the end of that run (also a 3-1 loss, albeit that one to St. Louis) with a victory the next night against Florida.
The last time they lost two in a row was March 5 and 7, and it has been more than two months since the last time they dropped at least three straight.
“We’ve done a lot of great things here in this little stretch and we don’t have many hockey games left,” Sullivan said. “We want to make sure that we have momentum going into the playoffs.”
The best way to do that, of course, is to forget about Tuesday’s defeat and remember what it took to win the previous six.
“You have to have short-term memory, and the biggest game of the year is coming up on Thursday now,” coach Barry Trotz said. “I think we did a number of things well enough (against Dallas) that we could have won, but we didn’t do a few things well enough that prevented us from winning.”
• Ryan Thang, a third-round draft choice (81st overall) in 2007 signed a two-year entry level contract for 2010-11 and 2011-12.
The 22-year-old forward recently completed his college career at Notre Dame, where he was team captain and the second-leading scorer as a senior. Last week he signed an American Hockey League deal with Milwaukee for the remainder of this season and made his professional debut Saturday.
In three games for the Admirals he has one assist and a plus-2 rating.
His new contract will pay him an NHL salary of $525,000 and an AHL salary of $55,000.