Nashville Predators Clamp Down On Colorado, Win 4-1

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 17: Austin Watson
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 17: Austin Watson /

It’s home sweet home for the Nashville Predators as they take down the Colorado Avalanche in easy fashion, and remain undefeated at Bridgestone Arena.

The road woes may still be a concern, but the Nashville Predators are firing on all cylinders over the first three home games. That trend continued against Colorado, a team that’s playing solid hockey in the young season.

Even better,  the Predators are also off to a hot start against division opponents. The Nashville Predators have managed points in all three divisional matchups, including wins over Dallas and now Colorado.

First Period

The Nashville Predators defense really stepped up in this game, and that came right from the start. A scoreless draw is something you can’t be upset with considering the slow starts that have plagued the Predators thus far.

Coming into the game, the Predators ranked in the middle of the pack on the penalty kill, and were put to the test in the first period. Penalties on Pontus Aberg and Colton Sissons forced the Predators to go on the penalty kill, but they came out successful. Keeping this game scoreless in the first frame is a big step against a team that’s playing really well coming in.

However, the first period lacked any real offensive flow. A lot of missed shots and blocked shots. Some of that can be attributed to solid defense, and some of it to just sloppy play. It bears repeating that the Predators are still finding their identity with a lot of new pieces. Still, you’ll take a draw when you have such a great coaching staff that can make necessary adjustments.

Second Period

We’re unfortunately getting adjusted to falling behind in games in 2017-18, and Colorado forced another comeback from the Predators. A little over four minutes into the second period, Nathan MacKinnon, the former first overall pick, opened up the scoring. His first goal of the season put Colorado up one to nothing.  This goal comes on the power play as the Predators failed to kill their third penalty of the night. You can’t keep taking sloppy penalties, and it was Aberg’s second of the night.

However, one thing we know about the Predators is their resilient. Shortly after the MacKinnon goal, Viktor Arvidsson tallied his third of the season on a sweet pass from Filip Forsberg. It was almost identical to the scoring play from Forsberg to Arvidsson in the win over Dallas just last week.

In his return from missing three games, Roman Josi broke the tie on a five on three power play. Another assist from Forsberg gave Josi his first goal of the season. The captain made an impact in his glorious return.

The busy period wasn’t over as Sissons notched his first goal of the season, padding Nashville’s lead at three to one. At this point, we saw the Predators clearly outplaying a Colorado team that still has growing to do.

Third Period

Any hopes of Colorado making a comeback ended with Austin Watson joining Josi and Sissons for his first goal of the season. Watson slammed the puck home on an open net after the puck came off the boards wildly off a shot from Alexei Emelin.

This is where the Predators imposed their defensive muscles. You expect Colorado to come out aggressive and really test Pekka Rinne, but they only managed seven shots on goal. A lot of physical play kept this game from ever being in doubt after the tie was broken. An impressive win for the Predators over a division foe comes in easy fashion. This stat from Adam Vingan of the Tennessean really says it all about how dominant of a defensive performance this was:

Chad’s Three Stars

Third Star: Filip Forsberg

Forsberg isn’t just piling up goals, but he’s also piling up the assists. He now has multiple points in three of six games this season. His game has grown to another level, at least so far. The Predators are a dangerous team if he keeps this torrid pace.

Second Star: Viktor Arvidsson

Even though Forsberg is stealing some of the spotlight in the early season, Arvidsson is on an impressive pace of his own. The fact that he’s part of two-headed monster along with Forsberg should have every Predators fan foaming at the mouth. These guys allow the Predators to keep pace with any offense in the NHL.

First Star: Roman Josi

Josi, the beloved captain, made his triumphant return and didn’t disappoint. A power play goal and an assist aides in the Predators’ easy win over a Colorado team that already had four wins coming in. I’m expecting Josi to elevate his game to a new level. He makes this team so much better with him on the ice, and that was clearly obvious against Colorado.

Next: Gaudreau Recalled, Weber Sent To IR

The Nashville Predators fly up to Philadelphia on Thursday for their second game versus the Flyers this season. They then face the New York Rangers on the road Saturday, before coming home next week. We will have all the news and action covered.