Nashville Predators (19-16-4-3 SU, 18-24 PL, 19-19-4 O/U) vs Colorado Avalanche (13-26-0-1 SU, 16-24 PL, 16-19-5 O/U)
When: 3:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 14, 2017
Where: Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado
Lines: Nashville -145/ Colorado +131
Friday night NHL action and the Nashville Predators will duke it out with the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. The Predators enter this contest off a 2-1 home win over the Bruins, while the Avs are off a 4-1 home loss to the Ducks. The Over is 4-0-1 the last five meetings between these teams here in Colorado.
Forsberg Lifts Preds Over Bruins
The Nashville Predators are a good team, but they really haven’t displayed it yet this year. They have won their last two games in a row, including taking a 2-1 decision at home vs the Bruins. Now they hope to build on their mini two-game run with a game vs a bad Colorado team that has really struggled at home this year. It won’t be easy though as the Preds are just 7-13 on the road so far this year. It the game against Boston, they were outplayed as the Bruins outshot them 36-19, but the Preds really mad the most of their shot attempts and Juuse Saros had a strong game in the crease. Scoring in the win was Austin Watson, which was his 4th of the year and Filip Forsberg, whose 10th of the year came with just 2:24 left in the 2nd period and it was the game-winner.
Grabbing the win vs the Bruins was Saros, who is now 4-4 with a 1.25 GAA on the year. Pekka Rinne will get the nod in this one and he has gone 15-17 with a 2.42 GAA on the year, including 10-8 with a 2.13 GAA on the road, while vs the Avs in his career he has gone 18-9 with a 2.33 GAA. The Predators enter this game ranked 13th in the league in scoring at 2.74 gpg, while also ranking 7th in shots taken (30.9 spg) and 15th in power play conversions, converting on 18.7% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they have been average as they are 13th in goals allowed, giving up 2.60 gpg, while also ranking 15th in shots allowed (30.2) and 14th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 17.7% of their chances.
Avs Fall at Home To Ducks
The Colorado Avalanche have the fewest points in the league at 27 and they have gone just 1-6 in their last seven games, getting outscored 28-13 in those games. They can’t score this year and they can’t stop teams from scoring, plus they are a miserable 5-15 here at home so far this year. This is the worst team in the league. In their last game they feel 4-1 to the Ducks here at home and it was the 6th game in a row that they scored two goals or less in a game, while on the flipside, it was the 6th time in their last nine games that they allowed at least four goals in a game. Scoring in the loss to the Ducks was Nathan MacKinnon, which was his 11th on the year. He is 2nd on the team in scoring behind Matt Duchene, who has 13 so far. Hard to win games when you are horrible at both ends of the ice.
Absorbing the loss against the Ducks was Semyon Varlamov, who has now gone 6-15 with a 3.32 GA on the year, including 3-8 with a 3.19 GAA here at home, while vs the Preds in his career he has gone 11-8 with a 3.15 GAA. Colorado enters this game ranked 30th in the league in scoring at 2.00 gpg, while also ranking 26th in shots taken (28.4 spg) and 28th in power play conversions, converting on 13.3% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they have not been good at all as they come in ranked 30th in goals allowed, giving up 3.33 gpg, while also ranking 25th in shots allowed (32.4) and 25th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 22.1% of their chances.
- 4-1 in their last 5 after scoring two goals or less in their previous game
- 4-0 their last five games in this series
- 6-22 in their last 28 vs. the Central
- 8-22 in their last 30 vs. a team with a losing record
The Preds come in off a couple of nice home wins, but they have gone just 7-12 on the road this year, while the Avs have gone just 5-15 at the Pepsi Center this year. The Preds have not lived up to their potential this year, but I feel that they are playing with some confidence right now and what better place to grab a win the against a team with the worst home record in the league. Rinne gets a big edge over Varlamov and the Nashville offense is far better than that of the Avs. Take the Preds in this one.