Colin Wilson put the Predators on the board early in the 1st Period. Ryan Johansson dug the puck out of the boards just past the Avalanche blue line to James Neal. Gabriel Landeskog, having just skated over to help on the boards, became out of position and left Nikita Zadorov alone to defend a 2-on-1 with James Neal and Wilson. One pass later and Nashville had a 1-0 lead (Video).
Two Avalanche penalties within 30 seconds would give the Predators nearly 1:40 of 5-on-3 advantage. Filip Forsberg would ensure the opportunity not go to waste with one of the prettiest goals of the 2015-16 season. Through some sort of sorcery, he caught a rebound in the slot and buried the puck with a backhand between his legs. Seriously, no written description will do it justice. Make sure to click on the link here (Video). At this point the Avalanche looked done, but they didn't give up.
Mikkel Boedker would draw the game to one later in the 1st with a shot from a nearly impossible angle. His wrister from the goal line ricocheted off Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne, who was in perfect position on the post to make the save, and mercifully fell into the net (Video). The goal would give Colorado considerable momentum that would carry over into the 2nd Period.
After a lot of time in Nashville's zone and a number of good shots, the Avs finally got on the board with 2:30 left in the period. Matt Duchene fired a deadly wrist shot just wide of the net that fortuitously bounced off the boards into the slot. Shawn Matthias was causing havoc and Jarome Iginla skated in and jammed the puck home to tie the game at two (Video). It was Iginla's 21st of the season and his 610th of his career, which ties him with Bobby Hull on the all-time list.
The 3rd Period would see an early barrage of scoring from both teams. The first came from Nashville's Mike Fisher, who took advantage of a terrible defensive zone lapse by Colorado (Video). But Shawn Matthias would strike back on a fat rebound off a Zach Redmond shot to tie the game back up at three (Video). Craig Smith would get the final word in, though, off a nice Forsberg pass (Video) to put Nashville up 4-3.
Despite a handful of good attempts, including another missed backhand into a wide-open net by John Mitchell (second game in a row), the Avalanche would fail to score again. The loss eliminated them from the playoffs, which was difficult to watch the Minnesota Wild lost again a little earlier in the night.
Colorado will play again on Thursday against the playoff-bound Dallas Stars.
- Between the Legs Goals - More of this please, just not against the Avs, ok?
Nick Holden - On the ice for all four Predators goals tonight. Not optimal.