Predators take 2-0 lead after holding off Avalanche 5-4

Predators take 2-0 lead after holding off Avalanche 5-4

Monday evening NHL Playoff action and a pair of teams from the Central Division will square off as the Nashville Predators tangle with the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado in game three of their best-of-seven series.

Added Avs center Nathan MacKinnon: "We have lots of confidence here and we've shown that with a good record". "I felt like we did enough to nearly earn a better result but now we're going to have to go and dig in even harder to make sure we do earn a better result". "It's tough to come in here as an opposing team". Colorado is not playing all that well overall at the moment as they have now lost seven of their last 10 games, but still, no matter what happens the rest of the series, this season has been a success for them after posting the fewest points in the league a year ago. "To me, if we would clean up a couple of mistakes, we win that hockey game". "It didn't look to me like we were scared in the moment at all. We're certainly capable of doing it".

Brad Paisley was the second country artist this season, to do the honors. The team announced defenseman Samuel Girard would be out just before the start of the game with an upper body injury, Duncan Siemens filling in. At the defensive end of the ice, they were very strong as they ranked 2nd in goals allowed, giving up just 2.49 gpg, while also ranking 21st in shots allowed (32.4 spg) and 6th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 18.1% of their chances. Great example tonight: Find a way to get a lead and they were resilient and crawling back into the game.

In the second, Rinne got help from Matt Irwin clearing J.T. Compher's shot, and the Predators tied it on a wrist shot from Watson that squeezed over Bernier's left shoulder at 3:14. Fiala beat Bernier with a snap shot from the inside edge of the left circle, and that seemed to get the Predators going.

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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. In a 4-on-4 situation, Predators defenseman P.K. Subban blocked a shot by Barrie. The 45-year-old was obviously a good luck charm, because the Preds defeated the Colorado Avalanche 5-4.

The Preds got their fourth goal by capitalizing on an errant Colorado line change, making it 4-2. Rinne made 26 saves. Nashville went 37-2-4 when leading after two periods in the regular season.

NOTES: The Predators have started series twice before 2-0 and won both series, including last spring when they swept Chicago in the first round.

Bednar was unable to provide a timetable for Girard's return. During the regular season, he was 42-17 with a 2.31 GAA and a.927 save percentage overall, including 17-9 with a 2.07 GAA and a.937 save percentage out on the road.

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