Another surprisingly close game ended up going the Nashville Predator's way again. The Colorado Avalanche had a strong first period, followed by a weak second, but played hard to finish the game to nearly mount a nice comeback. However, Nashville woke up at the end and shut down the Avalanche to secure a victory.
Bourque starts the scoring
Gabriel Bourque shot the puck into the net hard to start the scoring, set up nicely by J.T. Compher at 2:34 in the first. The play was initially set up by former Predator Colin Wilson, who took a hit to collect the secondary assist.
Unfortunately, Tyson Barrie took a puck to the face and left the game with ten minutes left in the game, and headed off the ice. Colorado was already thin on defensemen, so this was a scary moment. However, he did return to the game.
The Avalanche started to control the play, but Gabriel Landeskog was called for tripping. The first period ended with the Predators on the powerplay.
Kevin Fiala scored on a tic-tac-toe on the powerplay, which went off the skate of Patrik Nemeth and in.
Soon after, Mattias Ekholm hurt the momentum by taking an interference call. However, David Warsofsky canceled the man advantaged via a holding call 16 seconds in the penalty.
Nashville dominated play during the 4-on-4 but didn’t score during it. Colorado handed them another chance with a too many men penalty. The Avalanche managed to kill it this time, mostly due to some great play in net by Jonathan Bernier.
A little scrum occurred, and Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan Ellis headed off for roughing at 10:46. Viktor Arvidsson scored on the 4-on-4 opportunity to put the Predators up 2-1.
Mike Fisher took a hooking penalty at 13:44, putting the Avalanche on the power play. Colorado frustratingly was unable to convert. Subsequently, Mark Barberio tripped Austin Watson, who also went off for embellishment.
Ryan Johansen scored on the opportunity on a breakaway at 16:32, but Nathan MacKinnon answered right back with a slick backhand goal to get the score to 3-2.
With five seconds left in the period, Matt Nieto took a roughing penalty to give the Nashville Predators a powerplay to start the third. Colorado killed it off to go back to even strength.
P.K. Subban took a tripping penalty at 4:07 to put the Avalanche on the powerplay. Colorado was yet again unable to convert, not scoring a power-play goal in the series.
Bad timing on the line change
Due to an untimely line change, Nikita Zadorov turned over the puck and Austin Watson put it in the net. Kyle Turris took a subsequent penalty at 8:10 for holding and the Avalanche had their fourth power play. Colton Sissons tripped up Tyson Barrie 14 seconds in to give Colorado a 5-on-3.
Their powerplay finally converted on a Nathan MacKinnon shot that bounced off of Landeskog. Nashville killed off the remaining time and was then rewarded with a powerplay of their own via a questionable call on Sven Andrighetto for elbowing. Colorado managed to keep the puck out of the net and the time on the penalty bled down to zero.
Bernier was pulled with around two minutes left, and Ryan Hartman scored the empty-netter at 18:51. The Avalanche pulled Jonathan Bernier yet again, and Alexander Kerfoot scored with 36 seconds left but was unable to score the game-tying goal. The game ended 5-4 with the Predators able to secure a Game 2 win.
Do you think the Colorado Avalanche can come back from a 2-0 deficit when they play on home ice? Is Nashville just too good? Let us know in the comments section below.