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Colorado Avalanche 5, Nashville Predators 0: Stormy Weather

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It was ugly outside, and it was ugly inside.

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

The Nashville Predators may not want any more late afternoon starts after Saturday’s result against Colorado.

Despite the Preds nearly doubling up the Avalanche in shots on goal, Philipp Grubauer got his first shutout of the season as Colorado blanked Nashville 5-0.

Pekka Rinne gave up five goals on 21 shots, while Grubauer stopped all 38 Nashville shots.

Colorado struck first as Nathan MacKinnon’s shot grazed Pekka Rinne’s right shoulder and went in at the 4:05 mark of the opening period.

Roman Josi went off for slashing at 7:19, but the Predators killed that penalty off without conceding so much as a shot attempt.

Nikita Zadorov went off for holding at 10:40, putting the Preds on their first power play attempt of the afternoon. Nashville had nothing to show for it despite a couple of good looks and pretty much a full two minutes inside the Colorado zone.

Ryan Ellis was called for interference with 27 seconds left in the first period. Nashville killed the balance of the penalty to begin the second stanza.

Sven Andrighetto put the Preds back on the power play with a high-sticking call at 4:05 of the second, and although Nashville maintained better zone time, the man advantage still came up empty.

Ryan Graves slashed Filip Forsberg to disrupt a breakaway and went to the penalty box at 10:51. Through solid movement, both with the puck and without, the Preds generated some good looks, yet failed to score again.

Mikko Rantanen tackled Dan Hamhuis in the neutral zone, yet Hamhuis was sent off for holding the stick that he fell on top of and the Avs’ Alexander Kerfoot converted on the power play with 5:19 left in the second.

Dan Hamhuis was helped off the ice after a hit into the boards from Nikita Zadorov and was unable to put weight on his left leg.

Sheldon Dries and Yannick Weber both received unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, and during the ensuing 4-on-4 time, Ryan Ellis’ turnover turned into a 2-on-1 the other way for Colorado — which Gabriel Landeskog finished off a pass from Samuel Girard.

MacKinnon added his second goal at 9:59 to extend the Avs’ lead to 4-0, then Zadorov added to the carnage with 3:18 remaining for a five-goal gap.

Random Observations

  • Peter Laviolette going with Forsberg-Johansen-Fiala on the top line for the second straight game. Trying to continue pumping up Fiala’s trade value?
  • Having cancer survivor Brian Boyle in for the Hockey Fights Cancer ceremonial puck drop was an excellent touch.
  • Not a good start. Colorado played last night, so even less of an excuse to be lethargic out of the gate.
  • There’s still no reason Nick Bonino should be on the power play.
  • That wasn’t a awful first period, but it certainly could have been a lot better.
  • Power play is looking better, at least in maintaining zone time.
  • Any more tackles like that by Rantanen and the Denver Broncos are going to put him at linebacker.
  • Chances of it being an ugly third period? Yeah, no one should be surprised.
  • JOFA line needs to be back together in the third period.
  • And they are.
  • Good chances early in this period, but still nothing.
  • Ryan Ellis might be the most snakebitten (other than Kevin Fiala) on this roster.
  • Wonder if Hamhuis’ exit sparks an additional move for a defenseman over the next 40-plus hours?

Stars of the Game

  1. Grubauer. Because he stopped everything except the storm outside.
  2. MacKinnon’s shot. Needs no explanation.
  3. Afternoon games. Because getting home at 11 p.m. after a performance like this can’t make anyone happy.

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