Nashville Predators know Nathan MacKinnon is Colorado Avalanche's only hope

What did we learn? Game one: Avs vs. Preds

"I'm happy with the way we played", Colorado coach Jared Bednar said.

Still, the sting of losing both games in Nashville lingers for eighth-seeded Colorado ahead of Monday's Game 3. Despite mounting injuries, the Avalanche are confident heading home, where they have won 28 games this season. Colton Sissons and Kyle Turris assisted on the goal.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Ryan Hartman's empty-net goal with 1:09 left wound up the victor as Nashville held off Colorado for a 2-0 lead in the first-round Western Conference series.

Colorado takes control early with energy and scores the first two goals of the game, but Nashville comes back to tie it up before Roman Josi ends the game in overtime to put the Predators in position for a sweep with a 3-0 series lead.

MacKinnon has been productive despite his line - which includes Mikko Rantanen and captain Gabriel Landeskog - being the focus of the Predators' defense. This is why he had 39 goals and 97 points this season.

"Oh man, he's special", Predators forward Austin Watson told The Tennessean. "I got this lovely towel, catfish in the cooler, let's do this!"

"I mean, if you are, they'll blow right around you". I think we need to keep playing the same way.

Viktor Arvidsson gave the Predators a 2-1 lead on a attractive unassisted play at 12:36 of the second period, beating Colorado goalie Jonathan Bernier, for the goal. Past 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 outshot Colorado, 33-30.

Nashville is 55-29 straight up (SU) and has earned 16.3 units for moneyline bettors this season.

Colorado would show that they were still in the game though and wouldn't let the raucous "Smashville" crowd deter them as Nathan MacKinnon slid a back handed shot past Pekka Rinne and suddenly the Avs were withing one, 3-2.

Game 3 takes place at the Pepsi Center Monday, April 16 at 8pm.

Both teams are hoping for a cleaner game in Denver.

The Colorado Avalanche put up a valiant effort in Game one of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the President's Trophy-winning Nashville Predators, but ultimately fell 5-2 and now trail in the series, 1-0. Coincidentally, that starts with the Colorado Avalanche - another worst-to-first kind of team that emerged from the league's cellar to crack the playoff picture. A win in Game 3 will make it almost impossible for Colorado to win the series, and the young team knows it. If Nashville decides to rest him, however, the team could roll with Juuse Saros (12-14-7), who has a.925 save percentage and 2.45 goals against average this year.

"There's definitely no quit on their side", Johansen said on Saturday. They came into a very hostile environment and went toe-to-toe with a great team.

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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