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Colorado Avalanche 3, Nashville Predators 2: Semyon Varlamov Holds Off Nashville

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The Predators dropped a close one to Colorado tonight in Nashville.

Playing in the Central Division is no easy task, and that statement stands tall when you play three games within it in one week.

The Avalanche got the scoring started when they struck on the power play (to no one's surprise) with a goal from Francois Beauchemin. Nick Holden then added a second goal later in the period to give the Avs a 2-0 lead. Miikka Salomaki pulled the Preds within one with a goal late in the first period. That was definitely a momentum boost for the Predators going into the first intermission.

Not much went on from the scoring front in the second period. Both team had some quality chance but neither could get anything to hit the back of the net.

Craig Smith brought the game back even early in the third period. The tie didn't last too long though as Andreas Martinsen gave the lead back to the Avalanche.

In the end, the Predators couldn't mount a comeback. They fall 3-2 in this one.

Random Observations

  • God I love Roman Josi's game this year. His aggressiveness is the type that gives you a team an extra edge in the post season. Not to mention he has his own little point streak coming into the game tonight. Note that this was written during the first, so I hope I didn't jinx him.
  • After a strong showing on the penalty kill on Thursday night, the Preds let one get by them early in this game. It doesn't help either that one of their best penalty killers was in the box at the time (Paul Gaustad).
  • That first period is exactly how you don't want to follow up a dominant victory. There just looked to be so many times that the defense was just beat on plays. Luckily for them, Miikka Salomaki bailed them out with a goal, and a momentum shift, right before the end of the first period.
  • The Avalanche were really going after Josi in that second period. I would take that as a huge sign of respect. That mean Josi is becoming a big time player.
  • The Avalanche aren't nearly as bad as  their record dictates. And I am not saying they have that bad of a record. They have 28 points, which would be enough to compete in the Pacific Division. They have some quality players on this team. It's just unfortunate that they have to play in the Central Division.
  • It seems like Smith scores when he wants to at times. I just wish he would want to score more often.
  • As bad as Nashville has been on the penalty kill as of late, they have been good when it matters. Perfect example was in the third period of this game. They knew they needed a big kill, and they came up with one.
  • And apparently it's never too early to speak too soon. The Predators killed off a big penalty, but gave up a goal right after on a bad play from Ekholm.
  • The biggest enemy of the Predator this season: The goal post. How many times can a team hit the post before it gets comical?
  • Another questionable call tonight by the refs. That delay of game call on Mike Ribeiro was only called because he was tripped initially.

OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game

  • Ryan Ellis: He set up both goals tonight in this game. I think that earns him a spot.
  • Miikka Salomaki: He definitely made the most of his shot on the main roster tonight.
  • Craig Smith: He got back on the score sheet in this one.

Tweets Of The Night

Boxscore - Game Summary - Event Summary - War-on-Ice - HockeyStats - Natural Stat Trick

Roll the video highlights...