Preview #78: Predators Look To Extend Colorado’s Struggles

Season Record

Nashville Predators 41-26-10

Colorado Avalanche 28-39-8

The Nashville Predators had their six-game winning streak snapped by the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night. Predators rookie defenseman, Jon Blum, said it best after the game, “We’ve just got to regroup tomorrow and have a big one on Thursday against Colorado.”

The Avalanche have lost three straight games and are 2-8-0 in their last 10 games. The Predators are 8-2-0 in their last 10 and will be looking to bounce back from a tough loss against the winners of the Western Conference regular season.  With a win, Nashville would sweep the season series against Colorado for the first time in franchise history. A win would go a long way toward securing that playoff position by keeping pace with the Anaheim Ducks who passed Nashville in the standings on Wednesday night with a win against the Calgary Flames.

Goaltender Pekka Rinne is 3-0-0 against the Avalance this season with a 2.01 goals against average and a .933 save percentage. Rinne has been the backbone of Nashville’s season and is considered to be one of the leading candidates to be nominated for the Vezina Trophy.

If Nashville is going to sweep the series, they will have to do so on the road. The Predators are looking to win their 20th road game of the season. Currently, the Predators road record is at 19-17-3.

Nashville’s penalty kill is still in the top five of the League even though it has been hit or miss as of late. But what is consistent is the Avalanche’s penalty kill which is last in the NHL with a kill off rate of 76.3 percent. The Predators, however, have only scored once in 12 chances with the man advantage against Colorado.

While Marty Erat and David Legwand have been the two most consistent Predators since the middle of January in regards to providing offense, Sergei Kostitsyn has also re-found his scoring touch. The former Montreal Canadien is one goal shy of 20 on the season and is currently riding a seven-game point streak with 3 goals and 6 assists during that span. Kostitsyn is also tied with Patric Hornqvist for the team lead in goals.

Thursday night’s game is the 40th road game this season for the Predators. After the game, Nashville returns home to play games on Saturday, Tuesday and Friday before ending the season with their 41st road game on April 9th in St. Louis. Tickets are still available for Nashville’s afternoon tilt against the Red Wings. Game time is 2 pm on Saturday afternoon. On Wednesday night, Detroit lost to the Blues by a 10-3 score and are going to be trying to get back to winning. With a win on Thursday against the Avalanche and a win Saturday against Detroit, the Predators would be two points out of the Central Division lead.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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