Avalanche vs. Predators: Game 3 prediction


The Colorado Avalanche put up a valiant effort in Game one of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the President's Trophy-winning Nashville Predators, but ultimately fell 5-2 and now trail in the series, 1-0.

P.K. Subban and Mattias Ekholm each had two assists for Nashville, which has won 12 straight over the Avalanche.

Forsberg, who has 13 goals and 11 assists in 20 regular-season matches against Colorado, snapped a 2-2 tie at 6:08 of the third period by deflecting Roman Josi's point blast past a helpless Jonathan Bernier.

The Predators' offensive attack attempted 32.2 shots per game in the regular season, resulting in 3.3 goals per contest (ranked seventh overall in the NHL). But the Avalanche couldn't get another puck past goalie Pekka Rinne.

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Colorado struck first, as they did in game one, when former Predator Gabriel Bourque found the back of the Nashville net just 2:34 into the game and Colorado took the early lead, 1-0. The Bruins added another power-play goal - their second of the night and fifth of the series - to make it 4-0 after one. The only concern is that Pekka Rinne has looked shaky at times in this series, but even then that has been nothing too egregious.

What did we learn from Game One?

The series moves to Toronto for Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Thursday. With the opposing crowd working against them, and Nashville seemingly saying the right things, expect the Predators to come out with a bit more energy to start the game.

Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist, and Viktor Arvidsson, Ryan Johansen and Austin Watson scored a goal apiece. Game 3 should prove to be a pivotal game in this series.

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The team that led the National Hockey League in penalties took two late in the first, giving Colorado 19 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage. Kinkaid, whose stellar play since January helped New Jersey finish strong and claim its first playoff berth since 2012, yielded five goals on 15 shots. The goal was being announced when Comeau got a stick on Carl Soderberg's shot from the point to give Colorado a 2-1 lead at 4:51.

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 41 shots, limiting the Devils to rookie Nico Hischiers unassisted goal in the opening period, Sami Vatanens sixth career playoff goal late in the second, Blake Colemans third-period tally that trimmed Tampa Bays lead to 5-3 with eight minutes left. The Predators have gone 25-16 on the road and they have averaged 3.00 gpg and have allowed 2.44 gpg in those games. Colton Sissons and Kyle Turris assisted on the goal. The Sharks also are halfway to their first playoff series victory over Anaheim, their longtime downstate rivals.

Nashville only lost 16 games away from home all year (including just nine in regulation).

Game 3 is Monday night in San Jose.

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