Nashville Predators vs. Colorado Avalanche Pick & Prediction MARCH 2nd 2024

The Nashville Predators are playing their best hockey of the season. Meanwhile, Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon continues to show why he might be the NHL’s best player.

Looking to cool off MacKinnon, the surging Predators aim for an eighth straight win on Saturday against the visiting Avalanche.

Nashville closed February on a seven-game winning streak, during which it outscored opponents 32-12, scored at least four goals in every contest and killed 17-of-21 opposing power-play chances.

On Thursday, star defenseman and captain Roman Josi collected a goal with two assists and Juuse Saros made 33 saves during a 6-1 home rout of Minnesota.

“We’re playing really fast,” said Josi, who has four goals in the last three games and six of his team-leading 65 points in the last two contests.

“I think we’re all getting more comfortable … It’s a lot of fun to play in this system when we’re all connected like that.”

Nashville, which holds the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference, last won eight in a row during its franchise-best run of 10 straight victories in 2017-18.

“I think we’re playing a pretty solid brand of hockey right now,” said Nashville star Filip Forsberg, who has three goals and three assists in the last four games.

“That’s something we’ve got to keep doing.”

Forsberg scored two of his team-leading 29 goals during the Predators’ 4-3 home win over Colorado on Nov. 20. Nashville prevailed despite allowing MacKinnon to record a pair of assists.

The Avalanche star enters amid an eight-game point streak during which he’s totaled four goals with 11 assists. He had one of each during Thursday’s 5-0 rout at Chicago while reaching the 100-point plateau for a second consecutive season. This time he achieved the feat in 61 games and joined Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov (104) as the first two players to arrive at the century mark this season.

“You hit 100 at this point, last year he had 111,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said.

“It’s impressive because for years, we’re like, ‘Man, Nate’s an incredible player, top point producer, really consistent at what he does,’ and somehow he’s finding a way to produce even more now.”

MacKinnon, who’s recorded 13 goals and 22 assists in 32 career games against the Predators, is helping the Avalanche contend for the top spot in the West. Nine points ahead of Nashville, Colorado is amid a 4-1-1 stretch and has a chance to post back-to-back road wins for the first time since a three-game run Dec. 29-Jan. 13.

The Avs’ Justus Annunen made 26 saves for his first career shutout Thursday. Alexandar Georgiev, however, should be back in net after posting a 2.02 goals-against average in winning two of his last three starts.

Saros, meanwhile, has been stellar during a five-game winning streak, registering a 1.40 GAA and a .953 save percentage.

Georgiev and Saros each stopped 26 shots when the teams met in November.

Colorado’s Cale Makar had three assists in that meeting with the Predators and has four assists in his last three games.

–Field Level Media

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