Nashville Predators: Arvidsson Hustle Leads Predators To Game 2 Victory

NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 14: Viktor Arvidsson
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 14: Viktor Arvidsson /

The Nashville Predators went down a goal early in Game 2. Viktor Arvidsson and the rest of the hustling Predators wouldn’t let that stand.

The Nashville Predators went into Bridgestone Arena Saturday afternoon knowing they were in for a fight. As much as people like to downplay 1 vs. 8 matchups, Nashville knows how dangerous the second wildcard can be. The Colorado Avalanche are a feisty bunch, and last year’s second wildcard won the Western Conference. Game 1 was a bear, and Game 2 was more of the same.

The only lineup change for either team from Game 1 was Samuel Girard being out due to an upper-body injury. Or lower-body injury. It depends who you ask. Brad Paisley sang the National Anthem, for those keeping track of that.

First Period

One trend we were hoping would stop continued in Game 2 but didn’t. Gabriel Bourque scores on Denver’s first shot at 2:34. A breakdown on defense led to Bourque getting a wide-open shot. J.T. Compher & Colin Wilson get assists.

Nick Bonino and Mikko Rantanen headed to the locker room after hits from Blake Comeau & Austin Watson respectively. Rantanen comes back soon after & Bonin returned a few minutes after. Tyson Barrie gets blasted in the face with a puck off of Jonathan Bernier‘s stick. The refs call the Predators off-sides on three straight trips down the ice. The fans are unimpressed with the officiating thus far.

The Avalanche go on the offensive towards the end of the period but soon run into problems. Kyle Turris gets tripped by Gabriel Landeskog at 19:03 & Nashville goes on the power play. They have 1:04 left on it at the end of the first period.

Another less than good first period for the Nashville Predators. They’ll need to step it up later in the game again. Colorado is off to a good start and looks more composed than in Game 1.

Second Period

Filip Forsberg blasts Duncan Siemens in the corner within the first thirty seconds of the period.

The power play winds down, and Kevin Fiala puts the Nashville Predators on the board with three seconds left! He strikes the puck off the blade of an Avalanche player past Bernier.

Colton Sissons & Kyle Turris collect assists. The Avalanche get their own power play due to Mattais Ekholm interfering with Nathan MacKinnon at 3:21. That doesn’t last long before David Warsofsky holds Austin Watson at 3:37. Tough to blame him, we all know how dangerous Watson is on the PK. The Predators dominate the puck during the sequence, but Bernier stands tall.

Denver gets called for too many men on the ice at 7:33. Nashville gets a couple of chances but can’t find the net. Our first post-whistle scrum takes place at 10:46 into the second period. Gabriel Landeskog & Ryan Ellis head to the box & we go 4 on 4.

After some entertaining back & forth, Viktor Arvidsson charges down the ice & fires the puck into the net! It’s 2-1 Nashville Predators at 12:36 into the second period. No helpers, that was all Arvidsson.

Mike Fisher hooks Carl Soderberg at 13:44 & sends the Avalanche on a power play. Nothing doing there, but we go back to 4 on 4 when Mark Barberio interferes with Austin Watson & Watson embellishes at 15:48. Denver gets some time in the Nashville zone, but P.K. Subban makes a big play in front of the net, leading to Ryan Johansen getting a breakaway & a goal at 16:32! Subban & Ekholm get assists.

Nathan MacKinnon gets his own breakaway at 17:08 to get Denver back within one. The Nashville Predators will be on a power play to start the third, as Matt Nieto roughs P.K. Subban at 19:55.

Third Period

We actually go quite awhile without some scoring. Shocking, I know. Subban trips Alexander Kerfoot at 4:07. Austin Watson fixes that at 7:26 with a wrist shot!

Kyle Turris holds Nieto at 8:50, then Colton Sissons trips Tyson Barrie fourteen seconds later. 5 on 3 is not ideal when you’re trying to hold a two goal lead. MacKinnon fires a shot off of Landeskog & Roman Josi into the net at 9:14. The Predators kill off the 5 on 4, then Sven Andrighetto elbows Ryan Ellis‘s beard at 10:42.

The Nashville Predators hold a one goal lead with five minutes left. Not stressful at all. Nashville ices the puck late & we get Mike Fisher vs. Playoff Colin Wilson. Not stressful at all. Another icing changes the lines, and Bernier leaves the net with just over two minutes left. Watson nearly ices the game. Subban shoots the puck down the ice, it bounces off the boards in front of the net, and Ryan Hartman is the first man down! Two goal lead for the Predators with 1:09 left!

We’re not done yet, as Kerfoot shoots it off of Rantanen to make it 5-4 with 35.8 seconds left. Arvidsson & company manage to keep the puck in the Colorado zone for the rest of the period & Nashville escapes with a 5-4 win.

Steve’s Three Stars

Third Star: Nathan MacKinnon

MacKinnon has been one of the best in the NHL all season, and he kept the Avalanche alive in this one. He was credited with one goal & one assist, took six shots & had nearly twenty-five minutes of ice time. He’s the focus of attention every time he’s on the ice & Colorado is lucky he’s too young to get tired.

Second Star: P.K. Subban

Subban was out there for over twenty-seven minutes & the Predators were plus three during that time period. His assists on the Johansen & Hartman goals were key in Nashville maintaining the lead.

First Star: Viktor Arvidsson

Arvidsson’s breakaway goal was one of the better ones you’ll see this postseason. His hustle was on full display when he kept the puck behind Colorado’s goal at the end of the game, ensuring Bernier couldn’t go off the ice again. His never-say-die attitude is contagious, especially this time of year.

Next: Four takeways from Game 1

Next Game

The Nashville Predators head to Denver for Game 3 on Monday night. The Colorado Avalanche will be looking to build on the positive things they did in the first two games, and will hope that their home crowd can give them an extra boost. Puck drop will be at 10:00 PM ET/9:00 PM CT, and you can catch it on Fox Sports Tennessee, NBCSN or 102.5 The Game.