Predators at Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche are banking that the Rocky Mountain air will breathe new life into their Western Conference first-round series with the Nashville Predators. The Avalanche, who matched franchise records for consecutive home wins (10) and total victories on the season (28), have dropped 12 straight to the Predators -- including the first two heading into Monday's Game 3.
"We have been good there all season, we used our energy to our advantage," Hart Trophy candidate Nathan MacKinnon said. "We have won some big games at home. Everyone feels good coming to the Pepsi Center, and hopefully we can get some offense there." The 22-year-old MacKinnon recorded his fourth multi-point performance of his postseason career with a goal and an assist in a 5-4 win in Saturday's Game 2, giving him six points (three goals, three assists) in six contests versus Nashville since the start of the 2017-18 season. The Presidents' Trophy-winning Predators may lead the series but they have plenty of areas in which to improve, including sluggish starts that have seen the team outscored 2-0 in the first period. "We're going to be desperate too," Nashville captain Roman Josi said. "It's a huge game for both teams. Game 3 is always a big game. I think (coach Peter Laviolette) is right; desperation trumps momentum, and we have to make sure we match their desperation."
TV: 10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVAS, FS Tennessee (Nashville), Altitude (Colorado)
ABOUT THE PREDATORS: Nashville has spread its offense around in the first two games of the series, with eight players responsible for the team's 10 goals. Filip Forsberg and Austin Watson have each scored twice, with the former netting five goals in his last three contests while latter has tallied in three straight. Ryan Johansen scored in Game 2 to extend his point streak to four contests while defenseman P.K. Subban set up two goals on Saturday to boost his point total to seven (one goal, six assists) in his last eight outings.
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE: While MacKinnon has eight points (two goals, six assists) in his last seven games, captain Gabriel Landeskog has seven (two goals, five assists) in that stretch after scoring and setting up a goal in Game 2. While the statistics are piling up, the wins are not -- but Landeskog told reporters that a victory in Game 3 would eliminate any lingering doubts on his club and generate some for the opponent. "I think it's win Game 3 and all of a sudden you are feeling good and they start second-guessing themselves," the 25-year-old Swede said. "We just got to make sure we take care of these two at home, that's the bottom line. Especially Game 3, we can't look too much further ahead than that, but make sure we win Game 3 and then after that get rolling."
1. Nashville posted an NHL-best 25-9-7 mark on the road during the regular season.
2. Colorado D Tyson Barrie, who had two assists in Game 2, has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past seven contests.
3. The Predators are 6-for-14 on the power play in their last four games.