Predators, Lightning take 2-0 series leads

Pekka Rinne

P.K. Subban and Mattias Ekholm each had two assists for Nashville, which has won 12 straight over the Avalanche. But the Avalanche couldnt get another puck past goalie Pekka Rinne. The Predators are hoping to take the next step this year after losing to Pittsburgh in the Stanley Cup Final. Well, they have kept that momentum going by taking the first two games in this series. Nashville followed a 5-2 victory in Game 1 with a 5-4 decision in Game 2 on Saturday.

Austin Watson tied the game for Nashville at the start of the second period, beating Jonathan Bernier on a narrow angle, netting a top-shelf score.

Game 3 is Monday night in Newark, New Jersey. In his career, during the regular season, he has gone 116-121 with a 2.55 GAA on the road and 108-87 with a 2.39 GAA against the Central Division, while against the Avalanche he has gone 23-9 with a 2.28 GAA.

I just don't think Colorado quite has what it takes to get back in this series even at home.

It took Pekka Rinne gloving a bullet from the 22-year-old Colorado forward to keep him off the board on a charge to the net in Thursday's Game 1 - that and an extended kick to stop MacKinnon linemate Mikko Rantanen on a breakaway made the Predators' 5-2 comeback win possible. However, they must win in a hostile environment, as Colorado lost just 13 games at home all season.

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Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson also scored for Tampa Bay, which is up 2-0 in the series after going 0-2-1 against the Devils during the regular season.

This series has been an exciting one with two high-octane offenses. Star Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and assist in Game 2 as did Gabriel Landeskog.

With precious few players possessing playoff experience, Colorado calmed whatever nerves it might have had by scoring on its first shot. The Avalanche had eight giveaways, this one resulting in a 4-2 Predators lead. The Bruins added another power-play goal - their second of the night and fifth of the series - to make it 4-0 after one. At the defensive end of the ice, they were a bit above average as they average so far as they ranked 14th in goals allowed, giving up 2.88 gpg, while also ranking 27th in shots allowed (33.3 spg) and 4th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 16.7% of their chances. Visit SportsLine to get National Hockey League odds and picks for every Stanley Cup Playoff game, all from the advanced computer model on a red-hot 21-8 National Hockey League run. I feel that you will see a complete game from them in this one as they do not want to let the Avs back in the series.

Jakob Silfverberg scored in the opening minute and John Gibson stopped 32 shots as Anaheim dropped to 3-6 in its last nine home playoff games overall.

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