The Nashville Predators lost a tough one to the Colorado Avalanche, coming up only one goal short, despite being down by 3 late in the 3rd period. The Avs needed this one and, to be honest, played like it. The Preds were simply coasting through the early periods and left themselves too large a hole to climb out of.
Everything started as an anti-thesis to Saturday's game against the Blue Jackets. The Avalanche went up 3-0 and the Predators looked just awful. Pekka Rinne was pulled after the 3rd goal, though I'm not sure he deserved it. Lavy opted to give him the next 50 minutes off and will now probably start him tomorrow against Dallas.
After goals by Blake Comeau, Gabriel Landeskog, and Jack Skille, the Avalanche were in great position to get an important win for their team. But the Predators began to climb back. Craig Smith got his 20th goal of the season to get the Preds within two. Carter Hutton helped slow things down in the defensive zone. Miikka Salomaki had a goal waived off on an off-sides review, which sucked, but the momentum was still with the home team going into the 3rd period.
In the 3rd period, the Avs tightened up their defensive front and a Shawn Matthias goal with 8 minutes looked to seal the deal. But the Preds wouldn't give up: Miikka Salomaki and Roman Josi scored within 30 seconds and all of a sudden it was a 4-3 game. After a furious finish with Hutton pulled, the Preds couldn't get the tying goal and lost 4-3. Considering the Avs were without Duchene and Mackinnon, this is a pretty bad loss, but one that the Preds can absorb given their wild-card position.
Oh and some crap about Jimmy Vesey happened as well.
- Completely different start than what we saw Saturday night. Colorado with all the better chances and then going up 2-0. A poor defensive play by Mattias Ekholm leads to a Blake Comeau goal. Then Gabriel Landeskog knocks in a rebound that stands after a brief review. Yikes. Regroup and get back out there, I guess.
- Welp. Regrouping hasn't happened yet. 3-0 Avs. Lazy defense, juicy rebounds, and no attack from the Preds so far. Annnnnnd Rinne is pulled for the first time this season. Probably a smart move, as now he can start tomorrow against Dallas.
- To continue with the bad news, this just in.
- A Craig Smith goal off of a sweet cross-ice pass from Forsberg and the Preds are on the board. Needed something positive to close out the 1st and they got it.
- Momentum every so slightly shifting to the Predators. Mid-way through the 2nd period, the Preds just generated a solid 1-2 minutes of offensive zone time. Most of it was generated by the 4th line, with Ellis & Ekholm at the blue-line. Generating a lot more chances than in the 1st.
- Salomaki's goal to get it to 3-2 is waived off after Colin Wilson was ruled to be off-sides. I'm not mad at the call, as Wilson was definitely off. But I am still mad at this one.
- "Beer me those off-sides cheat codes, Matt" -Wilson
- Preds are working much better than they did in the 1st period, but the Avs doing a good job of denying easy entries. Just lining up on the blue-line and forcing the puck carrier wide. Avs also stopping neutral zone passes with some consistency. Preds looking a bit frustrated, much like they were in the first half of the 3rd period against the Canucks last Thursday.
- Avs get a huge insurance goal and that might do it.
- Wait. Wait wait wait. Salomaki scores. And then JOSI SCORES (and breaks the record for points by a defensemen in a season). What is happening? How is it a 4-3 game right now? Furious comeback here...
OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Craig Smith: Three consecutive 20 goal seasons for Smitty. 'Grats
- Roman Josi: New record for points by a defensemen. And an incredible goal it was. Love this man.
- David Poile: He needs a hug. Someone give him a hug.
Tweets of the Night
This is @JGarcia36's fault— Zack Bennett (@ZackTN) March 29, 2016
Reminder. There also happen to be Predators prospects not named Jimmy Vesey and a lot of them are quite promising. pic.twitter.com/M1D5c4JLx9— Admirals Roundtable (@adsroundtable) March 29, 2016
Things for Nashville tonight going all... pic.twitter.com/UrvbsPEai5— Justin Bradford (@justinbbradford) March 29, 2016
Roll the video highlights...