Nashville Predators (55-18-4-7) vs. Colorado Avalanche (43-32-8-1)
When: 10:00 PM ET, Monday, April 16, 2018
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
With the Nashville Predators (1st in Central Division) leading the Western Conference Quarterfinals 2-0 after the first two contests in Tennessee, the action switches to Denver, where the Colorado Avalanche (West’s 2nd Wild Card) are playing host for the next two fixtures…
Predators Edge The Avs
The Nashville Predators (2-0) took an already series lead in their Western Conference Quarterfinals matchup against the Colorado Avalanche after bagging Game 2 with a count of 5-4 at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday. Despite trailing 1-0 after the first period, the Preds scored three consecutive goals in the second frame, adding further two, including an empty-netter, in the final third. Kevin Fiala, Viktor Arvidsson, Ryan Johansen and Ryan Hartman all buried their first goals of the current postseason, while Austin Watson netted his second playoff strike of the year and sixth of his postseason career.
Goalie Pekka Rinne turned away 26 shots, taking his tally for the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs to 2-0 with a 3.00 GAA and a .895 save percentage. He has now gone 38-34 in all previous postseason contests combined with a 2.37 GAA and a .917 save percentage and had posted a 23-7-2 past tally against the Avalanche prior to the ongoing playoffs with a 2.28 GAA and a .915 save percentage. The Predators, meanwhile, are netting the 2nd highest quantity of goals per game during the current postseason (5.00), while conceding the 7th highest amount defensively (3.00). They are 5th in power play with a 28.6% success rate (2-for-7) and top of the table in penalty kill with 75.0% efficiency (7-for-8).
Avalanche Fall Short
Just like during their 5-2 defeat in Game 1, the Colorado Avalanche (0-2) once again put up a good fight against the Nashville Predators in their Western Conference First Round series, but still fell short, losing with a score of 5-4 at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday. Gabriel Bourque (1 goal, 1 point during the current postseason) gave the Avs a 1-0 lead at the start of the opening frame before Nashville took two-goal leads on three different occasions, with Colorado edging withing one each time, including with 36 seconds remaining in the game, when Alexander Kerfoot (1 goal, 1 point) made it 5-4 following an empty-net goal by the Preds half-a-minute earlier.
Nathan MacKinnon (1 goal, 3 points) and Gabriel Landeskog (1 goal, 2 points) also scored for the Avalanche, while goalie Jonathan Bernier (0-2 for the present campaign with a 4.07 GAA and a .871 save percentage) made 28 saves. He is 1-4 in past playoff appearances with a 3.26 GAA and a .880 save percentage and, prior to the ongoing postseason, had registered a 9-4-0 performance record against the Predators with a 2.37 GAA and a .917 save percentage. The Avs, meanwhile, are 7th in most goals scored per game during the current playoffs (3.00), 2nd in most goals allowed on average (5.00), bottom of the table in power play with 12.5% proficiency (1-for-8) and 11th in penalty kill with 71.4% expertise (5-for-7).
- Avalanche are 7-2 in their last 9 when their opponent scores 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Avalanche are 6-2 in their last 8 Monday games.
- Avalanche are 20-7 in their last 27 home games.
The Avalanche have not managed to beat the Predators for 12 straight overall games now and have lost to Nashville on six consecutive occasions in Denver. They have, however, looked pretty decent in the first two playoff outings against the current President’s Trophy winners and could quite realistically start turning things around when hitting home ice for Games 3 and 4, having finished the regular season with a franchise record-matching 28 victories in Colorado…