Predators coaches always try to stay three games ahead in their scouting and video work.

"Then you never find yourself behind the eight ball," assistant coach Lane Lambert said.

But with a condensed schedule after the NHL lockout, preparation has involved long days, some long nights and a helter-skelter approach to keep up with opponents.

For the first time this season, the Predators are enjoying two days without a game. They played Monday in Phoenix and return to action here Thursday against the Kings. Then they have only one game in the next four days.

"We're really focusing on our team, but at the same time you have to focus on what's coming at them with the other team," coach Barry Trotz said. "It's sort of a double amount of work right now."