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Colorado Avalanche 5, Nashville Predators 3: Too Many Penalties Spoil Johansen's Debut

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Despite a great first game by Ryan Johansen, poor discipline doomed the Predators against their division rivals.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche have crawled even with the Nashville Predators.

Ryan Johansen had a marvelous debut, notching his first goal, assist and two-point game for Nashville, but tons of penalties doomed the Predators. Jarome Iginla and Tyson Barrie both scored power play goals for Colorado, and the latter's would stand as the game winner. Each team now has 45 points, but Nashville owns the tiebreaker due to one less game played.

This one hurts.

Random Observations

  • If for some reason you still weren't sure how to feel about trading away Seth Jones, Johansen laid all your worries to rest 2:35 in the first period. On his first shot as a Predator, Joey buried a sneaky and ridiculous shot past Semyon Varlamov. If that's a show of things to come, Nashville fans are in for a treat. The 1C era has officially begun.
  • Roman Josi was hobbled when he blocked a shot with the upper part of his leg, and had to be helped to the bench by Shea Weber. You're excused if your heart skipped a few beats when Josi walked down the tunnel, but it didn't take long for him to return and get back into the game.
  • Colorado did a great job of pushing the tempo in the first period and Nashville had a tough time trying to keep up. Shots were 14-7 in favor of the Avs and the Predators took three different obstruction penalties in the game's first 20 minutes. It finally came back to bite them. Jarome Iginla scored his 601st career goal to tie the game.
  • Three minutes later, Cody McLeod gave Colorado a lead they would take into the dressing room. Penalties didn't help, but total shot attempts for the period ended 26-15 in favor of the home team.
  • Early in the second period, Ryan Ellis decided to do his best sniper impression and wristed a laser over the shoulder of Varlamov. Colin Wilson and Mattias Ekholm assisted on the goal, and it was Wilson's seventh point in his last eight games. Oh, guess which new Pred was on the ice for that one as well?
  • The fourth line is not having the best of nights. They were on the ice for McLeod's goal, then made a couple of bad reads which resulted in a 2-on-1 for Colorado. Though Eric Nystrom attempted to catch up with them and break up the feed, his stick merely adjusted the time in which Gabriel Landeskog received Carl Soderberg's pass. The Avs' captain didn't miss after that and gave his team a 3-2 lead.
  • Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen and James Neal were put together about halfway through the game, and were all on the ice for Nashville's best shift of the game. The trio were skating circles around the Avs in their own zone, and it culminated with Forsberg scoring from the slot. We expeted
  • The departure of Seth Jones means Mattias Ekholm on the power play. I am okay with this.
  • THE THIRD PERIOD STARTED AND EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING. I'm still trying to catch up. Rinne made an absolutely unreal pad save then took himself out of the play. Avs would have had a wide open net to shoot into had Nystrom not sold out to make another save. Then the teams started trading chance back and forth for what seemed like minutes. Pipes were hit, saves were made, shots were taken. Goodness gracious.
  • Oh. Right. The Preds still have the same PK. There are so many questionable decisions the Preds penalty killers have made this year, but this one might be a new low. Paul Gaustad breaks his stick and, instead of staying in the play, opts to try and find a break in the Avs' attack to go to the bench and get a new one. Bad idea. Tyson Barrie was left all alone and fired the puck past Rinne to give Colorado their third separate lead in the game.
  • Usually taking six penalties in a game will lead to bad things. That's even before your penalty kill is one of the worst in the league. When all six of those are lazy obstruction calls, there needs to be a look taken somewhere. That's unacceptable.

Tweets of the Game

OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game

  • Ryan Johansen: Can't ask much more from him. If he plays like that every night, the Preds will be looking better in no time.
  • Jarome Iginla: Dude is still going.
  • Carl Soderberg: Assisted on a tying goal and a go-ahead goal.

Nashville ultimately shot themselves in the foot by playing an incredibly undisciplined game from the starting whistle. It's disheartening to see that given the two points at stake, but it doesn't make the debut of Johansen any less spectacular. Hopefully after a few games to adjust, they can find their groove and regain that distance in the division they once had. The good news is there are still 41 games left in the season. The bad news is there are still 41 games left in the season.

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