Bridgestone Arena Nashville

Colorado Avalanche vs. Nashville Predators Pick & Prediction MAY 9TH 2022

NHL | HOCKEY
TV: SN1 | BSSO | ALT | TVAS | ESPN
Logo Colorado Avalanche
VS
Logo Nashville Predators
0
OPENNER
6.5

-1.5 +107
CURRENT
6.5o -107

+140
MONEYLINE
+180

5
SCORE
3

The Colorado Avalanche will be chasing a sweep when they visit the Nashville Predators on Monday for Game 4 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series.

The Avalanche took a 3-0 series lead after their 7-3 victory in Game 3 on Saturday. It was the second time in the series that Colorado has scored seven goals, and the Avalanche have outscored (16-6) and outshot (138-81) Nashville by lopsided margins during the series.

Despite those statistics, the Predators have been more competitive than the numbers and the 0-3 deficit would suggest. Game 2 was a narrow 2-1 overtime victory for the Avalanche, and Game 3 was tied 3-3 before Gabriel Landeskog gave Colorado the lead for good at 14:02 of the second period.

The Predators challenged Landeskog's tally on a charge of goaltender interference, but a video review confirmed the score. Nashville was then assessed a penalty for the failed challenge, and Nazem Kadri added a power-play goal to extend Colorado's lead.

Despite the devastating momentum swing, Predators coach John Hynes stood by the decision to request the review.

"Basically (every) goalie interference call that goes through, you review it, and in our opinion, you take all those things into account," Hynes said. "But we felt in our review and judgment that it was goaltender interference."

The risk was compounded by the fact that Colorado's power play was on fire in Game 3, scoring four times on five attempts with the extra attacker. The Avalanche never scored more than three power-play goals in a single game during the regular season, while Nashville hadn't allowed more than three power-play tallies in a game.

With the Avalanche scoring six power-play goals over the three games, the series has become a worst-case scenario for Nashville's struggling penalty-kill unit. Between the Predators' last nine regular-season games and their three playoff games with Colorado, opponents have scored 16 goals on 49 power-play chances.

Game 3 took a scary turn late in the first period when Avalanche goalie Darcy Kuemper had to leave the game after being accidentally struck in the face by Ryan Johansen's stick. Fortunately, Kuemper wasn't concussed on the play, and his swollen eye may not be severe enough to keep him out of the net in Game 4.

Pavel Francouz stopped 18 of 20 shots in relief of Kuemper, and will get the starting nod Monday if Kuemper is unavailable.

Kuemper's status is another reason why the Avalanche are eager to end the series as soon as possible and start resting up for the next round.

"There's no easy games in the playoffs," said Landeskog, who had two goals and two assists in Game 3. "They've got their backs against the wall at home. They definitely don't want to get swept at home, and we want to try to end this thing and don't give them any life, so it's going to be a big game on Monday."

The Predators have their own issues in net, as it still isn't clear if Juuse Saros (lower-body injury) will be able to play in the series. Rookie Connor Ingram has emerged as Nashville's top goaltending choice with Saros out, and Ingram has a respectable .919 save percentage against the Avalanche's high-powered offense.

The Predators have never been eliminated by a postseason sweep in their franchise history.

--Field Level Media

PREDICTION
Colorado Avalanche
3
2
Nashville Predators

Colorado Avalanche vs. Nashville Predators

Erik Johnson had a goal and an assist, Pavel Francouz stopped 30 shots, and the visiting Colorado Avalanche beat the Nashville Predators 3-2 on Saturday night.

Johnson's two points gives him 300 for his career.

Gabriel Landeskog and Martin Kaut also had goals for the Avalanche, who have won a franchise-best eight straight road games and six in a row overall.

Viktor Arvidsson and Calle Jarnkrok had goals, and Juuse Saros had 28 saves for Nashville. The Predators had their three-game winning streak snapped.

The game was scoreless deep into the second period when Colorado finally broke through. Sam Girard, who had the game-winning goal Friday night in Carolina, sent a pass down low to Johnson, and he gave it to Landeskog as he skated toward the net.

Landeskog roofed a sharp-angle wrister just inside the far post at 13:23 for his 18th goal of the season.

The Avalanche didn't have to wait long to get another goal and pad their lead. Cale Makar brought the puck into the Nashville zone and sent a pass across to Tyson Jost. Jost fed it to the middle, off Arvidsson's stick and right to Kaut, who beat Saros at 15:38. It was his second goal in six games since making his NHL debut Feb. 18.

It stayed that way until the third period when Makar couldn't convert on a mini-breakaway and Arvidsson went in alone on Francouz and beat him at 14:40. It was his 15th of the season.

Nashville appeared to tie it up with 3:14 left when Dante Fabbro's slapshot beat Francouz high over his blocker, but the goal was waved off on a goaltender interference penalty on Colin Blackwell.

The Predators killed off the minor and Saros went off for an extra skater with 59 seconds left, but Johnson scored on a rink-long flip to seal it at 19:03 and reach his milestone in points.

Jarnkrok got the last goal on a backhander with 1.7 seconds left. It was his 13th on the year.

--Field Level Media

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