NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, March 25th
(All times Eastern)
Colorado Avalanche (44-21-6) at Nashville Predators (31-31-10), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Nashville Predators will try to keep their playoff
hopes alive with a third straight victory on Tuesday night when they go for a
split of their season series with the Colorado Avalanche.
The Predators dropped the first two contests of a four-game road trip before
bouncing back with wins over Calgary and Chicago. They saw Pekka Rinne post a
29-save shutout in Sunday's 2-0 victory over the Blackhawks.
Rinne posted his first shutout of the season and 31st of his career. It came
in his 18th game of the campaign, one that saw him on the shelf for an
extended period due to a hip injury and subsequent infection.
"He's been playing well for us lately," the Preds' Ryan Ellis said of Rinne.
"He was outstanding. Great job for him to get the shutout."
Mike Fisher and Gabriel Bourque scored for the Predators, who are eight points
back of the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.
Nashville's lineup did take a hit in Sunday's win as young defenseman Seth
Jones exited early with concussion-like symptoms that will likely keep him out
of this game.
Patrick Eaves (lower body) and Paul Gaustad (upper body) are also dealing with
injury, while forward Patric Hornqvist missed the win over the Blackhawks due
to the birth of his child.
This is the fourth and final meeting between the Predators and Avalanche this
regular season. Colorado has won two of three this season and four of the past
The Avs snapped a seven-game slide in Nashville with a 5-4 win on Jan. 18 and
tonight likely face Rinne, who is 11-4-1 with a 2.03 goals against average in
his career against them.
Semyon Varlamov will get the call for the Avs and is 5-3-0 with a 2.98 GAA in
this series. He is coming off a solid performance on Friday in a 2-0 loss to
the Boston Bruins.
Varlamov made 26 saves, but Colorado lost for a third straight game (0-2-1).
"We did not create much and we could not get the puck away from the
perimeter," said Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog.
Colorado, which has dropped four of five overall, was shut out for the first
time this season despite playing almost the entire final five minutes with
Varlamov on the bench for an extra skater.
Still, the Avalanche hold a comfortable nine-point lead over the Minnesota
Wild for third place in the Central Division and are three points back of the
03/25 10:55:49 ET