Game 3 Preview
Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche
Nashville 2-0 Series Lead
This game is the first of the series in Colorado. The Predators won both games on the road in Colorado with a combined score of 8-5. Nashville leads the overall series in the regular season 4-0. This postseason’s biggest impact players for Nashville are Austin Watson with 3 points (2 goals, and 1 assist), Filip Forsberg (2 goals), and Ryan Johansen (2 assists). Pekka Rinne has had 57 shots attempted on him blocking all but 6. Giving him a saves percentage of .895%. During the regular season in Colorado Rinne has a .880% save percentage. Juuse Saros was the goalie for the other road game with a .94% save percentage.
My break-out player prediction for game three is Filip Forsberg. He has been a powerful source for the Nashville team scoring 26 goals this season. His explosion in the first game scoring two goals, shows his potential to be an important player in the whole postseason. Even when he’s not scoring he is finding the open shooter. He has given the puck to teammates for a goal with an assist 38 times. Forsberg has the potential to score or assist in every game of the series. In his career, he has scored or assisted 255 times in 331 games or 77% of the time he has a point in the game. Coach Peter Laviolette liked what he saw from Forsberg on his acrobatic goal in game 1 and feels he is an outstanding player. A quote from coach Laviolette’s post-game interview states, “What I really liked about it, it was a power move,” Laviolette said. “It was not just a standing-still move. Like, he really picked up speed and did his best to drive. And I always feel like his best when he’s a power forward first and then he brings a skill element into it, and that’s exactly what he did on that goal.”
Game 1 Rewind
Nashville won the first game with a score 5-2 in front of a sold-out crowd with roughly 17,000 fans in attendance. Filip Forsberg leads the goal scoring with 2 goals. Colton Sissons, Austin Watson, and Craig Smith all had 1 goal each.
The Avalanche started the game scoring the first goal 6:36 into the game by Nikita Zadorov. This would be the only goal scored in the first period. Coming out on the second Nashville’s Austin Watson scored 3:16 into the period. Although the momentum seemed to switch to the home Predators, the Avalanche quieted the crowd with a 2-1 lead, goal scored by Blake Comeau just a mere 1:36 after the Nashville goal. The Predators hit the game-tying goal at 8:50 into the second period by Craig Smith. The second period ends with an even 2-2 score. The scoring begins by Nashville’s Filip Forsberg at the 6:09 mark into the period and again on a breakaway with nice deke moves to fool the defenders and goalie at the 12:10mark into the period. Nashville would go on to cap the scoring with an open net goal by Colton Sissons at the 18:03 mark. Nashville could withstand the early charge by the Avalanche and hold on for a 5-2 victory, taking a 1-0 lead in the best of 7 matchups.
Game 2 Rewind
Nashville won the second game with a score of 5-4 in front of another sold-out crowd over 17,000 fans in attendance. A total of five different Predators scored Saturday night. Viktor Arvidsson, Kevin Fiala, Ryan Hartman, Ryan Johansen, and Austin Watson.
Colorado opened the game again with a goal scored by Gabriel Bourque 2:34 into the game. No other goals would be scored in the first period, Avalanche head into the intermission up 1-0. Nashville comes out hot and scores a goal 1:01 into the second period by Kevin Fiala on the power play. Nashville would keep the game’s momentum in their grasps and score another goal 12:36 into the second by Viktor Arvidsson. Making it 2-1 Nashville. The pace of the game continues moving quickly with a goal by Ryan Johansen 16:32 into the second period. The Colorado Avalanche would respond shortly after with a goal 17:08 into the period. The second period would end with Nashville leading 3-2. Nashville scores another goal 7:16 into the 3rd period by Austin Watson. This game is starting to seem out of reach for the Avalanche. With Nashville up 4-2, the avalanche responds with a goal 9:14 into the period. Nashville scores their last goal of the game by Ryan Hartman at the 18:51 mark. Making the game 5-3. The Predators start to play relaxed trying to run the clock and not allow any defensive slips, but the Avalanche would score a goal at 19:24. This would be the last goal of the game. Nashville prevailed victorious with a score of 5-4. This win gives the Predators a 2-0 lead in the series.