Colorado at Nashville
When: 8:00 PM
ET, Thursday, February 23, 2017
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
The Nashville Predators are clinging to the top wild card in the Western Conference but they have developed an alarming trend over the past two weeks of allowing opponents to score in bunches and falling into big early deficits. Nashville continues a four-game homestand Thursday against the league-worst Colorado Avalanche.
The Predators have surrendered at least three unanswered goals in five of their last six games and trailed by three goals in four of their last five, including Tuesday's 6-5 overtime loss to Calgary. One positive trend for Nashville has been its domination of the Avalanche -- the Predators have won five straight in the series, including all four matchups this season. Since amassing nine goals in back-to-back wins early this month, Colorado fell into another tailspin by dropping seven of its last eight (1-6-1) and have been reduced to playing "spoiler," captain Gabriel Landeskog said. "At the same time we're trying to polish up our game and our systems coming into next year, because that's really what we're preparing for, making sure we're bettering ourselves for next year," Landeskog said.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, Sportsnet 360, Sportsnet Pacific, Altitude2 (Colorado), FSN Tennessee (Nashville)
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (16-39-3): Colorado has been limited to two goals or fewer (11 total) in each of the last eight games and absorbed a blow at the other end of the ice when defenseman Nikita Zadorov was lost for the season after suffering a broken ankle in practice Monday. Fellow blue-liner Erik Johnson, out since Dec. 3 with a broken leg, practiced for the first time Wednesday and plans on returning to the lineup Saturday. "It's a nice boost, especially now when you lose Zadorov," coach Jared Bednar said.
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (28-22-9): Goaltender Pekka Rinne has won all four starts against the Avalanche this season to improve to 19-7-2 lifetime against them, but he is mired in a slump that has seen him give up 19 goals and get yanked twice in his last four starts. Defensemen Roman Josi and P.K. Subban are both on hot streaks for Nashville. Josi has four goals and four assists over the past seven games while Subban has collected one goal and eight assists over his last six contests.
1. Predators F Filip Forsberg, who had a hat trick Tuesday, has seven goals and 15 points in 15 games versus Colorado.
2. Avalanche C Matt Duchene has 11 goals and 28 points in 29 games versus Nashville, but one tally in his last 15 overall.
3. The Predators are 20-0-5 when leading after two periods but 3-8 in overtime/shootouts.
PREDICTION: Predators 4, Avalanche 2
Stats and Records