The Avalanche lost last night. And as expected as that was, after taking 1-0 and 2-1 leads over the best team in the NHL in the toughest building to play in in the NHL, there was a glimmer of hope Colorado would pull the upset in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Avs surrendered three goals in the third period to lose 5-2. They’ll be back on the ice Saturday afternoon for Game 2. Here as the highs and lows from Thursday night.
Big Z. If you had Nikita Zadorov in your office pool down as the first Avs player to score against Predators goalie Pekka Rinne on Thursday, you’re lying. But sure enough, it was Colorado’s enforcing defenseman who got things going, scoring via an assist from Mikka Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon midway through the first period to put the Avs up 1-0.
Stick it. Blake Comeau hasn’t reared back to score his two most recent goals. Just like he did off a shot from David Warsofsky on Saturday against the Blues, Comeau used the blade of his stick for a subtle deflection of the puck in a shot that was going wide – this time from Carl Soderberg – Thursday to score in the second period and put the Avs ahead 2-1.
Know the situation. The Avs held an 11-10 shot advantage and a one-goal lead after the first period, but they were unable to capitalize on a 5-on-3 late in the frame. After the Predators’ Mattias Ekholm was called for holding, teammate Austin Watson was called for cross checking with 19 seconds remaining in the Avs’ power play, but despite having a two-man advantage, Colorado never attacked the net despite retaining the possession.
Clear the zone. When Predators left wing Filip Forsberg scored the go-ahead 3-2 goal 6:08 into the third period, Nashville had spent well over a minute in the offensive zone, taking shot after shot at even strength. Nashville scoring on that possession felt inevitable.
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