If you can believe it, the Avalanche waited nearly 15 minutes to get scored on in the first period. That’s right! Nearly three-fourths of the period, and they didn’t even commit a penalty to make it happen. The play started with Nikita Zadorov playing the puck behind his own net. After skating it out along the boards, he was double-teamed by a strongs Nashville forecheck; and instead of dropping the puck back to an awaiting Tyson Barrie, he chipped it up along the boards...and not out. Mike Fisher then ended up with the puck and ripped a wrist shot top-shelf to put the Predators up 1-0.
Only a minute later, though, Colorado would get themselves on the board. Mikko Rantanen forced a bad pass during a one-man forecheck and ended up with the puck along the boards near the Predators’ blue line. After skating the puck down below the right circle, he fired a pass back to Fedor Tyutin at the point, who ripped a shot toward the net. Rene Bourque tipped the shot (because of course he did), redirecting the puck below Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne for Rantanen to swoop in and clean up, tying the game.
Colorado got back to their snoozing-through-the-early-period habits by the time the second rolled around. Just seven seconds after puck drop (yes, you read that right) PK Subban fired a perfect strike up to Viktor Arvidsson, who promptly split the Avalanche defense and put the puck past an unsuspecting Pickard to put Nashville up 2-1.
Three minutes later, the Predators won a faceoff in the Avalanche zone and passed it back to defenseman Roman Josi at the point. He then ripped off a big wrist shot off Pickard, who coughed up a big rebound for Kevin Fiala to clean up and give Nashville its first two-goal lead.
Tip-master General, Rene Bourque would get his stick on another shot before the period was over, this time redirecting a big Nikita Zadorov shot from the point. It was his eighth goal on the year and his eighth tip-in, which apparently ties him with Sydney Crosby for that particular statistic.
Not yet sick of early-period goals? No problem! Ryan Johansen, just 34 seconds into the third, was skating harmlessly enough down the right boards when he just absolutely undressed Patrick Wiercioch—deked him out of his breezers. And if that wasn’t enough, he was able to skate right to the net and roof one on Pickard with the Predators’ fourth goal of the game. Two minutes later, Nashville would add to the total again, this time on an Austin Watson goal—his first on the season—to make it 5-2.
Mikhail Grigorenko would get one back for the Avs a little later off a nice Tyson Barrie feed, but it would be too little too late. Colorado fell to Nashville 5-3, bringing their record to a disappointing 9-11-1 on the year.
They’ll play again on Thursday night when the welcome the Columbus Blue Jackets to town.