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Division Rivalry: Nashville Predators

From conference foes to division rivals

by Zach Shapiro / ColoradoAvalanche.com

The Colorado Avalanche's rivalry with the Nashville Predators is still young compared with their other divisional matchups, but it's graduated from consistent to competitive in recent years.

The Colorado Avalanche's rivalry with the Nashville Predators is still young compared with their other divisional matchups, but it's graduated from consistent to competitive in recent years. 

Historically Speaking

After meeting four times in each full season from Nashville's inception into the NHL in 1998 to 2014, the Avs and Preds joined the same division in 2013-14. The rivalry has escalated from there.

While Nashville was rising in the league, including making a Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2017, the Avalanche was building its present-day core. The teams met 23 times as division foes from 2013-2018 before clashing in the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

The Predators prevailed in the teams' first postseason battle, but the young Avs didn't go down without a fight in their first playoff series in three years. Down 1-0 with just over four minutes left in Game 5 and facing elimination on the road, Gabriel Landeskog and Sven Andrighetto both scored to force a Game 6 in Denver. Nashville would close out the series in the following contest.

Video: Avs radio goes wild on Andrighetto's game-winner

Overall, the Predators have gotten the better of the Avalanche in the all-time head-to-head matchup. Colorado has a 33-37-12 record versus Nashville, but the series has been much tighter in Denver where the Avs sport a 18-19-5 mark.

More Recently

Following their playoff meeting, Colorado returned in 2018-19 to split the four-game season set, with both clubs winning on the road (2-2-0). The Avalanche won 5-0 in the last meeting on Feb. 23 at Nashville--tied for the team's biggest shutout victory on the road since 2012. Nathan MacKinnon turned in a three-point game (two goals, one assist) while Nikita Zadorov added a goal and an assist on the night.

Video: COL@NSH: MacKinnon rockets home PPG for second goal

Season Series

Nov. 7 @ Colorado
Feb. 29 @ Nashville
March 19 @ Nashville
March 29 @ Colorado

Past Avs 

Peter Forsberg had a six-point game (one goal, five assists) against Nashville in 7-1 win on Jan. 1, 2003. It remains the most dominant New Year's Day performance since 1979 and the only six-point game for a player against the Predators in Nashville's history. Forsberg, who had 28 career points (eight goals, 20 assists) in 20 games against the Preds, had four other games against Nashville in which he notched at least three points. Milan Hejduk, who has a franchise-high 35 points against the Predators (12 goals, 23 assists), registered five points (two goals, three assists) in that 2003 New Year's Day game. Joe Sakic was the first NHL player to record a hat trick against Nashville, accomplishing the feat on Feb. 19, 1999 in a 4-4 tie (he also had an assist on the Avs' other goal).

Recent Avs

Since 2013-14, Nathan MacKinnon has the most power-play points of any NHL player against the Predators with nine (three goals, six assists) in 24 games. He also leads all current Avs in overall points against Nashville with 21 (eight goals, 13 assists). MacKinnon recorded his 200th career assist against the Predators on Nov. 7, 2018. Gabriel Landeskog led the Avs in points during the teams' playoff series in 2018 with seven (four goals, three assists), including the game-tying goal in Game 5. Samuel Girard had five assists in four outings against Nashville last year, tying a personal high for career assists against a single opponent.

The Predators

David Legwand has the most points against the Avalanche for any Predators player in franchise history with 32 (12 goals, 20 assists). Since 2013-14, Filip Forsberg has notched the fifth-most points for any NHL player against the Avalanche with 26 (13 goals, 13 assists) in 24 games. Forsberg also scored four goals in the 2018 playoff series, tying Austin Watson for the most on the team. Pekka Rinne has 25 career wins against the Avalanche, the second most for any goaltender (Miika Kiprusoff, 26). Rinne has a career .914 save percentage against Colorado and has been in the opposing net the third most times among all goalies with 39 starts.

Fun Fact

 

From 1998 to 2004, before the NHL implemented the shootout, the Avalanche tied the Predators more times than it tied any other team (5).

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