Because someone (probably Dan) peed in the NHL Scheduling Committee's cereal, the Nashville Predators had yet another back-to-back, this time having to play a mile high in Colorado just after playing division rival St. Louis.
While there was some energy from the Preds early, they were unable to get anything by Semyon Varlamov, who was huge for the Avs tonight. He only had to make 23 saves in the shutout, but most of the big ones were in the 3rd period with the Preds trying to fight back. Marek Mazanec wasn't bad either, getting his first start of the year, but the Avs won this one 3-0 and deserved it.
Maxime Talbot, Jarome Iginla and Gabriel Landeskog scored for the Avalanche, while the Predators left a donut on the scoreboard for the 3rd time this season.
Things won't get easier traveling to the Penguins Sunday.
- Early on, the Jarnkrok-Bourque-Cullen line has been exploding into the offensive zone and generated plenty of early chances. Jarnkrok leads the line well up the middle, while Bourque and Cullen fight for chances on the boards. That line looks hungry.
- I miss Ekholm-Ellis and I think Ekholm does too. He just doesn't have the same confidence with Volchenkov as his opposite. Come back to earth soon, HRS.
- Maxime Talbot scores just after the Avs first power-play expired. Mazanec stopped the initial shot, then another one, but the puck bounced forward to the slot and fell right to Talbot who got to it before Weber and company could get there. 1-0 Avs lead.
- The Avs gameplan clearly involves heavy hitting. They are damn near taking heads off on the boards. Hopefully we can get a penalty out of it.
- And as soon as I type that, Forsberg attacks, forces his way inside of Zach Redmond, and draws a holding call. First power-play coming for the Preds.
- Power-play can't produce and then neither can Bourque, who just had the best scoring chance of the game. He snuck in behind the defense and tried to deke his way to a goal, but lost the puck. Huge chance there.
- Filip Forsberg even makes non-goals look beautiful. Breezing by Brad Stuart, Forsberg deked, got Varlamov to go down, but rang it off the post. If that goes in, it may have been the goal of the year. (until he topped it, like, next week or something)
- The Preds were on the power-play at the end of the 2nd, but they spent most of the time running into each other and leaving the puck unattended in wide open areas of the ice. Need a much better 3rd period, boys.
- Nathan MacKinnon turns Ekholm inside out and draws a hooking call. The Avs power-play was a crazy one: the Preds got a couple of short-handed chances and Maz had a couple of big stops, but the Avs scored just as Ekholm emerged from the box. Guess who... Jarome Iginla.
- Mike Ribeiro has been sent to the locker room with an Unsportsmanlike Conduct + Game Misconduct. Coach Lavy is asking for an explanation and not getting one. Lavy is not amused/very upset/going to break something. Either way, Ribs is done for the night. Having your leading point man in the locker room for the final 12 minutes does hurt the comeback chances some.
- Can't comeback from two down with guys in the box either. Wayyyy too many penalties in the 3rd.
- Avs get an empty netter, and that will wrap this one up. Just not the Preds night. Nothing going in the net for them, mostly because of Varlamov. Great night for him, bad night for the Preds.
OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Semyon Varlamov: he was the reason for the Avs win. 23 saves, most of them on great chances by the Preds.
- Marek Mazanec: Solid game. He made important saves on some great quality shots by the Avs, and usually when they mattered most. He finished with 25 saves.
- Craig Smith: 5 shots and played with nice speed, allowing some guys around him to get quality chances too.
Tweets Of The Night
I would pay someone to just follow Jarnkrok on and off the ice with a "Flow Cam" for pure awesomeness.— SmashvilleProud (@SmashvilleProud) January 31, 2015
@OnTheForecheck Just cuz your in Denver don't hit the pipe Fil.— brian (@bwiz77) January 31, 2015
We can do this without Pekka #SaidNoOneEver— Smashvillian (@Smashvillian_) January 31, 2015
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