Monday evening NHL Playoff action and a pair of teams from the Central Division will square off as the Nashville Predators tangle with the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado in game three of their best-of-seven series. The Preds have a 2-0 lead in the series after winning game two by a score of 5-4. Goalie Probables: Protecting the crease for the Predators in this one will be Pekka Rinne and he will be opposed by Jonathan Bernier.
Preds Have Stayed Hot In The Postseason
The Nashville Predators won the President’s Cup this year, which is awarded to the team with the most points in the league and they came into the playoffs having won 19 of their last 25 games. Well, they have kept that momentum going by taking the first two games in this series. Neither game was really that easy as game one was tied 2-2 as the teams headed to the 3rd before the Preds won 5-2 and game two was tight throughout before the Preds pulled out a 5-4 win. They are hoping for an easier win in this one, but it will not be easy as the Avs have played well at home. Scoring in the game-two win was Kevin Fiala, which was his 24th of the year, Viktor Arvidsson, which was his 29th, Ryan Johansen, which was his 16th, Austin Watson, which was his 2nd of the series and 16th of the year and Ryan Hartman, which was his 12th. The Predators have gone 25-16 on the road and they have averaged 3.00 gpg and have allowed 2.44 gpg in those games.
Grabbing the win in game two was Pekka Rinne, who stopped 26 of the 30 shots that he faced to improve to 38-34 with a 2.37 GAA and a .917 save percentage in his career in the playoffs. During the regular season, he was 42-17 with a 2.31 GAA and a .927 save percentage overall, including 17-9 with a 2.07 GAA and a .937 save percentage out on the road. In his career, during the regular season, he has gone 116-121 with a 2.55 GAA on the road and 108-87 with a 2.39 GAA against the Central Division, while against the Avalanche he has gone 23-9 with a 2.28 GAA.
The Predators were a very solid offensive team this year as they ranked 7th in the league in scoring at 3.18 gpg, while also ranking 15th in shots taken (32.2 spg) and 13th in power play conversions, converting on 21.2% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they were very strong as they ranked 2nd in goals allowed, giving up just 2.49 gpg, while also ranking 21st in shots allowed (32.4 spg) and 6th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 18.1% of their chances.
The Avs Hope To Get Back On Track At Home
The Colorado Avalanche have not played that poorly in their first two games of this series, but still, they are down 2-0 and now look to get their first win of the series here at home where they have played well on the year. The Avs have gone 28-13 here at home for the year and they have averaged 3.54 gpg and have allowed 2.39 gpg in those games. Colorado is not playing all that well overall at the moment as they have now lost seven of their last 10 games, but still, no matter what happens the rest of the series, this season has been a success for them after posting the fewest points in the league last year. They still don’t want to be swept in this series so they will be going all out to win this one or it could be over in four. Scoring in the game two loss was Gabriel Bourque, which was his 6th of the year, Nathan MacKinnon, which was his 40th, Gabriel Landeskog, which was his 26th and Alexander Kerfoot, which was his 20th.
Absorbing the game-two loss was Jonathan Bernier, who allowed four goals on 32 shot attempts to fall to 1-4 with a 3.26 GAA and a .880 save percentage in the playoffs in his career. Bernier was 19-16 with a 2.85 GAA and a .913 save percentage during the regular season, including 13-4 with a 2.34 GAA and a .928 save percentage here at home. In his regular season career, he has gone 80-55 with a 2.70 GAA in his home games and 31-28 with a 2.62 GAA against the Central Division, while against the Predators he has gone 9-4 with a 2.37 GAA.
Colorado was solid on offense this year as they ranked 10th in the league in scoring at 3.11 gpg, while also ranking 30th in shots taken (29.7 spg) and 8th in power play conversions, converting on 22.0% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they were a bit above average as they average so far as they ranked 14th in goals allowed, giving up 2.88 gpg, while also ranking 27th in shots allowed (33.3 spg) and 4th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 16.7% of their chances.
- 22-4 in their last 26 Monday games
- 20-7 in their last 27 vs. a team with a winning record
- 28-62 in their last 90 vs. the Western Conference
- 15-36 in their last 51 vs. a team with a winning % above .600
The Colorado Avalanche have played very well at home this year and Jonathan Bernier has gone 14-4 with a 2.34 GAA here at the Pepsi Center, but the Preds are 25-16 on the road for the year and Pekka Rinne is now 25-9 in his career against the Avs. The Preds did not play their best hockey in the first two games and yet they are still up 2-0 in the series. I feel that you will see a complete game from them in this one as they do not want to let the Avs back in the series. Colorado is just 2-7 in their last nine games overall while the Preds are 19-6 in their last 25. I will go with Nashville in this one, especially knowing that they are now 40-19 the last 59 games in this series.