Avalanche vs Predators

Avalanche vs Predators Live Stream:  The Avs need another great start at home and to take an early lead — keeping the crowd involved throughout. The key to that offensive is, of course, the MGM Line with center Nathan MacKinnon and wingers Gabe Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen.

Jonathan Bernier: He has allowed four goals in each of the first two games of this series. Bernier needs to be better. Yes, he’s facing a very deep and skilled Nashville attack, but Colorado needs its goalie to shine if it has any hopes of returning to Music City for Game 5.

Change the course(s): The Avs, who have lost 12 consecutive games against the Predators, finished last in the NHL in faceoff percentage (44.2) in the regular season. The Avs were at 39 percent in Game 2 and the top-line guys — MacKinnon and Landeskog — were a combined 6-of-27. That must change.

The Predators’ scoring depth has been a major component of their success this season. Through two games against the Avalanche, eight players have scored and 13 have at least one point.

Avalanche vs Predators Live Stream

Because of that balance, the Predators scored five goals in consecutive playoff games for the first time in franchise history.

The Avalanche have been weakened by a depleted defense. They were without Samuel Girard (upper-body injury) on Saturday, and it’s unknown if he’ll play Monday.

Statistics suggest that Miikka Salomaki, Mike Fisher and Ryan Hartman have been an effective unit in this series. The eye test, however, seems to say otherwise.

That line’s coverage in the defensive zone has been spotty, as evidenced by the sequence that led to the Avalanche’s first goal Saturday.

The Predators have options if they were to consider a personnel change, with Scott Hartnell being the likeliest choice. Nashville will benefit from the eventual return of Calle Jarnkrok, who hasn’t played since March 13 because of injury. He appears close to rejoining the lineup.

Teams that take a 2-0 series lead have advanced 86.4 percent of the time in NHL postseason history. That increases to 88,7 percent when those two games are won at home.

The odds are on the Predators’ side, but they don’t expect to breeze into the second round. The Avalanche have not looked overwhelmed in this series, and they’ll be more competitive at Pepsi Center, where they won 28 games this season.

he Nashville Predators are not satisfied with the way they’ve played despite taking a 2-0 series lead against the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference First Round.

The Predators have allowed the Avalanche to take the lead on their first shot in each of the two games, and Colorado has answered a Nashville goal within two minutes four times.

Nashville knows it will have to be better in Game 3 of the best-of-7 series at Pepsi Center on Monday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS, ALT, FS-TN).

[RELATED: Complete Predators vs. Avalanche series coverage]

“They’re not here to learn, they’re here to win, and you can really tell,” Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm said. “They’ve played pretty well. I think that we can be better for sure, but it’s still a nice feeling knowing that you haven’t been on top of your game, but you’ve still gotten two wins. It speaks a lot about our team, but we know we can be better as well.”

The Predators, who have won their past 12 games against the Avalanche, have been outscored 2-0 in the first period by Colorado, but has outscored the Avalanche 10-4 in the second and third periods.

“We’ve had some shifts that we’ve been playing good and have been playing to our potential, but we’ve got to do it more often and on a consistent basis,” Nashville forward Viktor Arvidsson said. “You just try to find that groove and manage the game from there.”

The Avalanche will be looking to shift momentum in Game 3 at home, where they went 28-11-2 during the regular season. But two of the losses were to the Predators, who were an NHL-best 25-9-7 on the road.

Video: COL@NSH, Gm2: Arvidsson finds twine with huge slapper

“We’re going to be desperate too,” Nashville defenseman Roman Josi said. “It’s a huge game for both teams. Game 3 is always a big game. I think [coach Peter Laviolette] is right; desperation trumps momentum, and we have to make sure we match their desperation.”

The Predators have made it a point not to let expectations after winning the Presidents’ Trophy affect their approach. And even though they haven’t been completely satisfied with their game, they’ve played well enough in stretches to come away with two wins.

“I think if we didn’t play some good hockey, we’d be 0-2 right now,” Laviolette said. “I think that there’s a thought that maybe Colorado isn’t that good, and that thought isn’t coming from me and it’s not coming from our locker room. We know what we’re up against, and we know how well we’re going to have to play [Monday].”

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