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Predators vs. Avalanche Series Preview: Game Schedule & Matchup Overview

Everything you need to know ahead of the Predators’ first round matchup with the Colorado Avalanche.

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

It’s official! The Predators will face the Avalanche in the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Today, David Poile and Peter Laviolette held a press conference addressing the playoff series and other items. We received an update on Calle Jarnkrok (he’s day-to-day), as well as we received the full schedule from the Predators website:

All times Central time

  • Game 1: Thursday, April 12 at 8:30 p.m. - Avalanche at Predators at Bridgestone Arena
  • Game 2: Saturday, April 14 at 2 p.m. - Avalanche at Predators at Bridgestone Arena
  • Game 3: Monday, April 16 at 9 p.m. - Predators at Avalanche at Pepsi Center
  • Game 4: Wednesday, April 18 at 9 p.m. - Predators at Avalanche at Pepsi Center
  • *Game 5: Friday, April 20 at TBD - Avalanche at Predators at Bridgestone Arena
  • *Game 6: Sunday, April 22 at TBD - Predators at Avalanche at Pepsi Center
  • *Game 7: Tuesday, April 24 at TBD - Avalanche at Predators at Bridgestone Arena

*If necessary

While we digest the schedule, but before we jump into more deeper analysis, here’s a glance at some stats and players to keep in mind ahead of this series.

Team Comparison at Even-Strength

Colorado Avalanche

  • 3.1 goals per game, all situations (10th)
  • 47.4% Corsi-For (29th)
  • 48.2% scoring chances for (22nd)
  • 46.4% high danger chances for (30th)
  • 46.1% expected goals for (29th)
  • Team shooting percentage: 9.3% (6th)
  • Team save percentage: 91.9% (8th)

Nashville Predators

  • 3.2 goals per game, all situations (8th)
  • 51.1% Corsi-For (12th)
  • 49.4% scoring chances for (17th)
  • 48.8% high danger chances for (18th)
  • 50.9% expected goals for (15th)
  • Team shooting percentage: 8.9% (12th)
  • Team save percentage: 93.2% (1st)

Special Teams Comparison

Colorado Avalanche

  • Penalty kill: 111.7 shot attempts allowed per sixty minutes (28th), success rate 83.3%
  • Power play: 89.6 shot attempts for per sixty minutes (31st), success rate 21.9%
  • Penalty differential (penalties drawn - penalties taken): 26 (6th)

Nashville Predators

  • Penalty kill: 99.1 shot attempts allowed per sixty minutes (8th) , success rate 81.9%
  • Power play: 103.3 shot attempts for per sixty minutes (15th), success rate 21.1%
  • Penalty differential (penalties drawn - penalties taken): -28 (25th)

Key Players for the Avs

  • Nathan Mackinnon: 97 points (39 goals, 58 assists) plus leads the team in Corsi-For percentage among players with at least 200 minutes. Should be a Hart Trophy finalist and is far and away the Avalanche’s best player. Arguably the best player in the entire series.
  • Mikko Rantanen: 29 goal scorer who also has 55 assists. The 2nd half of Mackinnon who has plenty of speed and skill.
  • Tyson Barrie: With Erik Johnson out, Barrie is their top defenseman. 57 points (including 14 goals) and has 30 points on the power play this season.
  • Gabriel Landeskog: 62 points (25 goals, 37 assists) and should pair with Mackinnon and Rantanen.
  • Alex Kerfoot: 19 goal scorer in the middle six. Shooting 23.5% this season.
  • Nikita Zadorov: Barrie’s defensive partner. Leads the team in hits with 278.
  • Tyson Jost: 19-year-old winger with plenty of speed and 13 goals this season.
  • Samuel Girard: We’ve heard of him! 20 points in 68 games this season. Should play on the 2nd pairing with Patrik Nemeth.
  • Jonathan Bernier: By all accounts, he will be the starting goaltender with Semyon Varlamov out. He has a .917 save percentage in 37 games this season. He also has a .917 save percentage in 14 career games against Nashville.

All stats via NHL.com, naturalstattrick.com, and corsica.hockey, and are even-strength unless otherwise stated