Preds' curfew-breakers sit again

Head coach Barry Trotz of the Nashville Predators reacts on the bench in a time-out from Game Two...

Head coach Barry Trotz of the Nashville Predators reacts on the bench in a time-out from Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals on April 29, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:45 PM ET

NASHVILLE - Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz didn’t want to mess with success.

So, while the punishment for breaking curfew is over for Alex Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn, they still sat out Game 4 of their second-round NHL playoff series against the Phoenix Coyotes Friday night.

The pair were suspended for the Predators 2-0 win in Game 3 to cut the Coyotes' lead in the series to 2-1 Wednesday night after staying out late in Phoenix the night before Game 2.

Trotz liked what he saw from his team Wednesday.

“The decision for me was pretty simple: the group that went in there was very committed and got the job done, plain and simple,” he said. “Alex and Andrei are good players, they’re top players. At the same time, I felt the group responded really well and I expect the group to respond again.”

Trotz said the pair were no longer suspended. He said scratching them again for Game 4 as a hockey decision.

“They’re ready, obviously they want to be in,” he said. “They want to have some vindication, if you will. But at the same time they’re good about being good pros ... as long as we’re winning, they’re OK. If someone doesn’t play well or if we have an injury, they’re ready to go.”

Radulov skated with about 14 other Predators in an optional skate Friday morning and said he understood the coach’s decision.

“The guys played well so I think they made the right decision,” said Radulov, who said he wasn’t frustrated. “It’s all good. I mean, the situation is hard, but I’ve been in that situation where I’m not playing. It’s fine with me. As long as we’re winning it’s fine.”

Radulov repeated again that the incident hasn’t been accurately reported, but when asked to give his side of the story or if he felt he was being portrayed in a bad light, Radulov said: “I don’t want to talk about it. Those people who said it, I don’t want to get involved. They started it. Put it on them.

“It doesn’t frustrate me at all. Everything that frustrates me is we’ve been talking about this since like, what? Five days. It’s game number four already, let’s focus on that.”

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson


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