The Colorado Avalanche wraps up a two-game road trip on Tuesday night against the Nashville Predators. The Central-Division rivals will meet four times this season with Tuesday's outing being the first.
The Avalanche is 31-32-5-6 all time against the Predators, including a 13-16-3-4 record when visiting the Music City. Colorado has gained eight points so far this season with a 4-2-0 record.
LAST TIME OUT
Colorado completed its first back-to-back set of the season on Saturday with a 3-1 loss to the Dallas Stars. The Avs had a slow start but netminder Semyon Varlamov kept the team within striking distance by stopping 33 shots after facing 28 in the first two periods. Dallas scored first with goals from Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin before forward Matt Duchene found the back of the net early in the third to make it 2-1. Dallas sealed the win with an empty-netter from Esa Lindell.
The Predators fell 2-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night. It was the first time Nashville played an extra frame this season. Filip Forsberg scored Nashville's only tally in the contest, his fifth goal of the season and fourth on the power play. Pekka Rinne was in between the pipes and made 33 saves for Nashville.
LAST TIME THEY MET
The Avs lost 4-2 to the Predators in Nashville on Feb. 23. The contest was tied 1-1 at the end of the first period with goals from Viktor Arvidsson and Jarome Iginla. Patrick Wiercioch scored early in the second to give the Avalanche a lead until Filip Forsberg scored a hat trick to seal the win for the Preds.
WHAT TO WATCH
The burgundy and blue have scored first in each of Colorado's four wins this season. In Saturday's loss to the Dallas Stars, the Stars got on the board first while Colorado only registered 12 shots in the first two periods.
"I didn't like the way we skated in the first two periods," said Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar after Saturday's game. "Not just the way we skated, but our energy was down. We just weren't as competitive on the puck as we were in previous games."
Colorado has allowed seven goals while on the penalty kill, six of those coming on the road this season. Against Dallas on Saturday night, the Avs only allowed one power-play marker in six chances and killed 1:26 of a 5-on-3 but could not capitalize in four chances with the man advantage.
"I really liked our power play up to this point," said Bednar. "I think it is a reflection of our 5-on-5 game. [Our power play] struggled for 40 minutes because so did our 5-on-5 game."
At home this season, Nashville has given up three goals in six penalty kills but has scored four times in seven opportunities with the man advantage.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Colorado: Center/Left Wing Colin Wilson
The forward was Nashville's first selection (first round, seventh overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He had spent his entire career with the Predators organization before he was acquired by the Avalanche in a trade on July 1 in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft. He has appeared in all six of Colorado's games this season and is averaging 13:40 of ice time.
Nashville: Defenseman P.K. Subban
Subban has registered a point in each of his last three games and has seven points (one goal, six assists) through five contests for Nashville this season. He had two points (one goal, one assist) in four matchups against Colorado last season.
Forward Tyson Jost and defenseman Anton Lindholm are expected to return to the Avalanche lineup. Jost has skated in four games for Colorado this season and has two points (one goal, one assist) but has missed the last two contests because of a bone bruise. Lindholm is slated to replace Patrik Nemeth on the blue line as he hurt his shoulder in the game versus Dallas.
The contest between the Avs and Predators is scheduled for 6 p.m. MT on Tuesday and can be watched on Altitude TV. The radio broadcast can be heard on Altitude Sports Radio AM 950 or online at ColoradoAvalanche.com.