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Nashville Predators 3, Colorado Avalanche 2: Shake It Off

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Predators get a miserable game 3 performance off of their backs and take a commanding 3-1 series lead back to Bridgestone Arena.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that was a roller coaster of emotions.

The Nashville Predators, previously never having scored first in this series, built a 3-0 lead and hung on to win 3-2 over the Colorado Avalanche tonight at Denver’s Pepsi Center.

The first twenty minutes were the best start that the Predators have had to a game this series. Although they had nothing to show for it until a wundergoal by Filip Forsberg, the Predators came out with speed and pace that was not present in the first three games. The Avalanche were very limited to the outside of the net. However, the power play continued to be of ECHL quality as the Predators squandered away a golden 5v3 to start the game.

The second period was better, as the Predators tallied twice. Although Nashville’s lack of discipline has started to rear its ugly head once again, the penalty killers did a pretty good job containing the Avalanche, still keeping them scoreless through two. Ryan Hartman got speared in the _________, and the Predators ended up with more guys in the box. I get that it’s not a head shot, but DoPS should take a look at that.

The third period did not treat the Predators kindly, as they started sans Ryan Johansen, who left the second with an apparent head injury. He returned, but not before the Predators reverted to their play from the first three games and conceded two goals. Nonetheless, the Predators hung on and managed to steal a win from high altitude, giving them the potential to close out the series on home ice Friday night.

Random Observations

  • And we’re off! Calle Jarnkrok is back! Huzzah!
  • Early puck to Bernier’s neck, hope he’s alright.
  • Good, he is.
  • Delay of game already? Let’s see what the golden boys can do
  • ANOTHER ONE. Carl Sodoberg high sticks Nick Bonino in the slot and the Predators have an early two man advantage.
  • I’m sorry but, if you think that firing point shots on a 5v3 is an effective strategy, get your hockey IQ checked. This power play is atrocious, uninspired, and terrible. When is the last time they went back door on the power play? They never throw different looks in. Never. All they do is fire point shots without strategic objectives. If they were low shots, it would make slightly more sense since they could crash a rebound. But all these top-corner high-rising point shots? This is dumb and pathetic. If you’re playing, never shoot high from the point. Hockey 101 right there. Predators get nothing from the 5v3.
  • Calle Jarnkrok already creating chances, nearly finds Fisher in the slot.
  • EMELIN STOP HOCKEY-ING, YOU AREN’T REALLY HOCKEY-ING.
  • FILIP FORSBERG MY WORD.
  • For my money, the two most dominant players these playoffs have been Filip Forsberg and Artemi Panarin. They both have very similar methods for entering the zone, streaking in and cutting through the left wing.
  • Much better first period by the golden boys.
  • Irwin you can’t do that buddy.
  • How is that delay of game? 5v3 for Colorado.
  • Why did Fisher dump the puck when halfway into the Colorado zone on the 3v5? Should have just played it back to Rinne in the defensive zone. Better to have possession than move the puck ten feet forwards.
  • SISSONS OUT OF THE BOX WITH THE FAR POST SNIPE.
  • Great presence of mind for Sissons to shoot against the grain there.
  • Ryan Hartman gets speared in the jewels and the Predators end up on the penalty kill?
  • Hartman with the two-fingered “I’ve got my eyes on you” to Sven Andrighetto, infamous international jewel spearer. Love it. I do this in men’s league all the time. Am I a pest?
  • CRAIG SMITH DOESN’T SMITH IT! 3-0 guys who don’t spear other dudes in the crotch.
  • Oh no.
  • Johansen falls into a hit by Landeskog that would’ve been in the hips if he stayed up. It lands on Joey’s head and he’s down the tunnel.
  • Bernier is replaced by Hammond to start the third, as Bernier is reportedly out with a lower body injury. Odd but interesting I suppose, I’m not sure on what play Bernier got injured.
  • Johansen still gone to start the third. I’m not panicking, you’re panicking.
  • Sike we’re both panicking.
  • Once again, the power play gets nothing. Color me not surprised.
  • An underrated element of play, but the Avalanche have done a great job of keeping possession during delayed penalties. Kudos.
  • Both Sissons and Hartman take penalties. 5v3 for Colorado, two minutes long.
  • The Avalanche score backdoor on the 5v3. Must be nice. 3-1.
  • Watson almost scores short handed because of course.
  • Rinne gets away with a cross check to Jost. Jost gave Rinne a snow shower, but the Predators are really lucky there that there’s no penalty on Rinne. The retaliation normally always gets called.
  • Is that a “Rinne sucks” chant by Colorado after that? I mean, sure, the play was totally cheap and dirty, but I’m honestly just proud that they’ve learned to chant.
  • Predators are leaning a little more heavily on Rinne this third period. Keep the pedal on the gas, boys.
  • Avalanche pressing extremely hard.
  • Kerfoot scores on a rebound. However, Comeau contacts Rinne’s pad without any push or anything. The puck was on Pekka’s pad, and Comeau pushes it off. Pekka was in his crease. Should be no goal.
  • Goal. Unbelievable. 3-2 Avalanche.
  • Johansen is back with 8:30 left! Thank lord.
  • No call on Sissons getting destroyed well after dumpung the puck. Same play that Sissons was penalized for earlier. All I ask of the referees is to be consistent, and they are failing. Failing both ways.
  • Is setting a pick now allowed? Smith completely blocked from getting into the offensive zone.
  • MacKinnon is getting away with a lot of cross-checks behind the play, the choppy kind every defenseman does in the crease. Granted, the Predators have escaped with a fair share of penalties too, but still.
  • COLIN WILSON HITS THE POST #RegularSeasonColinWilson.
  • Empty net. Hold onto your Labatts.
  • PREDS HANG ON. 3-1 LEAD.

Three Stars

  1. Filip Forsberg: 1g, 1a, and another goal of the season.
  2. Mattias Ekholm: 2a, solid presence, got under fellow countryman Landeskog’s skin.
  3. Pekka Rinne: if the Predators remembered how to hockey the first ten minutes of the third period, he would have had a shutout.

Advanced Stats

Nashville Corsi-for %: 52.22

Nashville Fenwick-for %: 56.72%

Shots: 27 NSH, 23 COL

Nashville High Danger Chances: 11

Colorado High Danger Chances: 6

Especially of note is Nashville’s high danger chances. Through the previous three games, they only had 13 total high danger chances. That number was nearly doubled in one game tonight. If you want evidence that Peter Laviolette got the boys ready to play tonight, look no further than that number.

Tweets of the Night