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Nashville Predators 5, Colorado Avalanche 1: Preds Hulk Smash Losing Streak

The Preds scored in every period, putting together their most complete game of the year.

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Predators put together a fantastic outing in Colorado tonight, beating the Avalanche by a score of 5-1.

Craig Smith got things started with a rare early goal for the Preds. His deflection in front of Semyon Varlamov put the good guys up 1-0 early. A few minutes later, Jarome Iginla tied things up after he put home a rebound in front of Rinne. Near the end of the 1st period, Matt Irwin scored his first goal as a Predator, wristing one by Varlamov. It was an odd feeling, going into the first intermission with a lead.

The 2nd period was all Predators, as they outshot the Avalanche 19-7. The Preds brought all sorts of pressure on the Avs defense. Eventually that pressure led to a power play goal by Ryan Johansen to put Nashville up 3-1. If it weren’t for some solid goaltending by Varlamov the rest of the period, the Preds could have put up several more goals in the middle frame.

Things got a bit testy in the 3rd period. Roman Josi got into it with Nikita Zadorov and then later Austin Watson went toe-to-toe with Gabriel Landeskog. The Predators continued to pour it on in the 3rd, with more solid possession and quality scoring chances. The Preds would get two more goals from Roman Josi and Craig Smith to put this game out of reach.

It feels great to win, boys. Keep it up!

Random Observations

  • BOOM. Great start. Craig Smith follows up some offensive pressure with a nice tip of a Mike Ribeiro shot. First shot on goal gets by Varlamov. That’s huge.
  • But then a few minutes later, Iginla gets the Avs on the board with a rebound goal. Colorado crashed the net after a takeaway, earning a high danger chance in front of Rinne. Iginla... always with the Iginla.
  • Holy cow. This pass from James Neal. Sick.
  • That goal from Irwin came out of absolutely nowhere... the Avs were really turning on the pressure and the Preds hadn’t done much of anything in about 8 or 9 minutes. You need goals like that sometimes.
  • Preds are coming out hungry in the 2nd period. Tons of chances, at even strength and on the power play. The team seems to be playing with a lot more confidence right now.
  • Ryan Johansen + Filip Forsberg is instant offense. Those guys should never, ever be separated.
  • SPEAKING OF... a Forsberg shot on the power play comes to Ryan Johansen, who scores from an impossible angle. Like he was completely behind the goal, guys. 3-1 Preds!
  • The Preds are winning more battles tonight than they won in any previous game this year. Just fighting like hell for every loose puck. Really great to see.
  • Zadorov with a big hit on Ellis. Roman Josi gives him a face wash. Zadorov knocks Josi’s helmet off. It was beautiful.
  • Was that the best penalty kill ever or the worst power play ever? (after the Ekholm tripping call)
  • OMG. What is happening. Preds power play, shots, turnover, Landeskog misses shot, Preds breakout, huge save by Varlamov, Ribeiro makes a terrible turnover, Avs breakout, Rinne save. WHEW.
  • Mike Fisher hasn’t played in the 3rd period so far. No word on why.
  • Insane play by Ryan Johansen on the Josi goal. Incredible patience, knowing that Josi was crashing. Awesome play.
  • Craig Smith, angry goal. PUT THAT LOSING STREAK IN THE SEWER.
  • Pekka Rinne with a very solid game. 28 saves in this one.

OTF Super Duper Stars of the Game

  • Ryan Johansen: 1 goal, 1 assist, both of which were absolute beauties. His line put in smoe great work tonight.
  • James Neal: 2 assists on the night, including that insane pass to Irwin. Solid night from HJN.
  • Craig Smith: Both goals were great, but that second one was nasty. Speeding down that left wing side, chipping the puck past the D, and ripping one far post past Varlamov.

Tweets of the Night

Game Extras

Game Stats

Game Photos


Natural Stat Trick

Game Video

(There’s so many!)