Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Three things to watch for as Predators-Avalanche series hits Denver

Three things to watch for as Predators-Avalanche series hits Denver

What did we learn from Game One?

Watson scored off a Colorado turnover in the Predators' offensive zone in the third period for a 4-2 lead. Colorado is better in both power-play percentage and in killing penalties, while the Predators led the league in penalty minutes, finishing the regular season with nearly 200 more than the Avalanche. Colton Sissons and Kyle Turris assisted on the goal. Nashville followed a 5-2 victory in Game 1 with a 5-4 decision in Game 2 on Saturday. Subban had two assists for the Predators and was one of three Nashville players to record two points in the contest.

The Nashville Predators took a 2-0 series lead after outscoring the Avalanche 5-4 in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Varlamov has 26 wins, 25 losses, and six overtime losses to his name and has maintained a pedestrian 2.68 goals against average and a.920 save percentage this season.

"Oh man, he's special", Predators forward Austin Watson told The Tennessean. "I don't know if you guys panned over to the bench, but all of our jaws dropped". But I can't trust Bernier to shut down a potent offense, while I feel the Preds defense is probably going to improve after a lackluster Game 2 performance. Playing a team like the Predators as a wild card is a nightmare scenario, and I don't see the Avalanche shocking the world. "I felt like we did enough to nearly earn a better result but now we're going to have to go and dig in even harder to make sure we do earn a better result". Ryan Hartman, acquired around the trade deadline from the Blackhawks, scored the eventual victor Saturday with 1:09 left.

-The Nashville Predators took it to the Avalanche physically. Previous year in Nashville, Subban had two goals and 10 assists for 12 points in 22 games, as the Predators reached the Stanley Cup Finals before losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Nashville is 55-29 straight up (SU) and has earned 16.3 units for moneyline bettors this season. The Avs, already without injured blueliner Erik Johnson, didn't have another in rookie Samuel Girard as he was scratched for Game 2 with an upper-body injury.

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Game 3 is Monday night in Denver.

Both teams are hoping for a cleaner game in Denver.

1 seed Nashville Predators did what they were supposed to do in the first two games against the No. 8 Colorado Avalanche: Hold serve at home. Nashville was credited with 36 hits compared to the 24 the Avalanche were given, but it felt like a bigger gap. One thing that came out of it was a rivalry. Rinne made some spectacular saves on each member of the top line at various moments of the game that could have swung the momentum the Avs' way.

"There's definitely no quit on their side", Johansen said on Saturday.

Sometimes great teams go from hunter to hunted, but in the case of this year's top National Hockey League team, it's nearly the opposite.

Ryan Hartman got a bit nervous with the puck so close to the empty net after a shot by P.K. Subban.

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