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Nashville Predators 5, Colorado Avalanche 2: Forsberg Scores Twice in Game One Win for the Preds

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You are going to want to re-watch that 2nd Filip Forsberg goal a couple times.

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

The Predators showed up late to game one, but when they did it was spectacular.

After a great deal of excitement over the playoff atmosphere and the dynamic opening sequence, the room crashed with a dull thud when Nikita Zadorov scored on the Avalanche’s first shot on goal. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen created space with some speed while Zadorov crashed down untouched and Rinne just missed it.

The Predators poured on plenty more chances in the 1st period, but just couldn’t connect on some key passes. Defensively, the Avs were crashing hard on the inner part of the ice, denying anything cross-ice. Then the Predators went to the penalty box a couple of times, as they do. Pekka Rinne made a couple of crazy saves on the doorstep—including a toe save on MacKinnon—to keep it a 1-0 deficit going into the 2nd period.

With the Avs bearing down going for a two goal lead, the Predators finally struck. Austin Watson scored on a sharp angle wrist shot that Jonathan Bernier probably should have had. That made it 1-1 with three minutes gone in the 2nd period.

But then about 90 seconds later, Blake Comeau tipped home a shot from Carl Soderberg to give the Avs the lead again. The goal happened due to some pretty frantic (and haphazard and just overall ineffective) defensive work that gave the Avs plenty of time and space.

Play opened up somewhat midway through the 2nd, with each team pouncing on loose pucks in the neutral zone and carrying with speed in the zone. For the Preds, this led to a power play chance on a slashing call. It only took 10 seconds for Craig Smith to tally, finding himself all alone in front and putting one high on Bernier’s glove side.

The rest of the 2nd period was filled with close scoring chances by the Preds coupled with some unreal saves by Rinne at the other end. He made one sprawling save on Rantanen (after an inexplicable defensive lapse by Subban) to keep the game tied.

Finally, in the 3rd period, the Predators grabbed the lead. With momentum building, Roman Josi sent a shot on goal with Filip Forsberg in front. Forsberg deflected it into a wide open net to make it a 3-2 game with about 13 minutes left.

When Forsberg scored, Bridgestone Arena erupted with... excitement? Relief? Both?

And then? Forsberg followed it up with this:

Bridgestone came unglued.

That made it 4-2 until Bednar pulled Bernier with 2:41 to go and the dynamic duo of Austin Watson and Colton Sissons put the game on ice.

That was quite a game. It really felt like the Preds might slip up and the Avs might steal one. But that 3rd period was a beauty and the Preds find themselves in the driver’s seat.

Random Observations

  • The place was super loud for warmups. Stay tuned for a noise forecast from when the game actually starts like an hour from now.
  • The intro was just incredible. All of it.
  • After a rather hectic start in the neutral zone, the Avs get on the board first. Mackinnon and Rantanen created some space with speed and Zadorov scores. He seems to always play well against the Preds.
  • This is not a great start, but the Preds are definitely motoring all over the place. The Avs have them played perfectly right now.
  • Sissons with a nice move to the outside ends in a shot. Smith does the same thing. Starting to build something here.
  • And then the penalties. And then ANOTHER one.
  • Pekka just made two unreal stops. That was huge. Period ends down 0-1.
  • My goodness, what is even happening in the DZ right now. It’s a freak show.
  • WATSON!!! Just like that we are tied.
  • Oh my goodness. And just like that we are aren’t tied anymore. Comeau tipped it home.
  • This is starting to be very dumb.
  • Finally, a power play.
  • AND SMITH SCORES!! Haha, the power play is very good and not bad (not true) (but maybe true)
  • RINNE. What a save on Rantanen. Subban just let him go through the zone and Rinne saved it. Sprawling leg save. Omg.
  • There’s still a complete disregard for the speed of the Avs. Or a lack of the speed to keep up with it. I can’t believe its the latter.
  • So many chances. The Preds are bearing down now.
  • FILIP FORSBERG!!!!!! Scores to give the Preds a 3-2 lead. 13:47 left.
  • Lots of things happening hold on let me grab my beverage
  • Forsberg just made me spill my beverage. FORSBERG JUST MADE ME SPILL MY BEVERAGE.
  • That was simply ridiculous.
  • Sissons. Icing on the cake. Game over.
  • PREDS WIN!

OTF Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Filip Forsberg: Two scores, including the goal of the playoffs so far.
  2. Pekka Rinne: 25 saves. He had some unreal saves in this one.
  3. Ryan Johansen: Two assists, was distributing well in this one.

Tweets of the Night

Game Extras