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game recap

Predators hang on against Avalanche in Game 2, extend series lead

Nashville builds three two-goal leads, wins by one

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist for the Nashville Predators in a 5-4 win against the Colorado Avalanche in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.

The Predators lead the best-of-7 series 2-0. Game 3 is at Colorado on Monday.

The Avalanche trailed by two goals three times and got within one each time but could not tie the game.


[WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Predators highlights | Complete Predators vs. Avalanche series coverage]


"There's definitely no quit on that side," Nashville forward Ryan Johansen said. "That's with every team in the playoffs, but they play desperate. They play fast. They've got a lot of young skill over there that can make you pay. A great example was tonight. We find a way to get a lead and they were resilient and ended up crawling back into the game. We've got to make sure we close out games better."

Austin Watson gave the Predators a 4-2 lead at 7:16 of the third period on a wrist shot. Gabriel Landeskog scored to make it 4-3 at 9:14 on a 5-on-3 power play.

Ryan Hartman scored an empty-net goal to make it 5-3 at 18:51, and Alexander Kerfoot scored with 36 seconds remaining to make it 5-4.

Video: COL@NSH, Gm2: Hartman capitalizes on the empty net

"They're not just going to give it to us because we finished first in the League," Watson said. "They're persistent. There's no quit in them. Even there at the end, putting another one in to get it back to one goal. They've got tons of speed, and you have to play with that and you have to be hard on them."

Gabriel Bourque gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead at 2:34 of the first period on a shot from the slot.

Fiala scored on the power play to tie it 1-1 at 1:01 of the second period, one-timing a pass from Colton Sissons. Viktor Arvidsson gave the Predators a 2-1 lead at 12:36 on a slap shot on the rush.

Video: COL@NSH, Gm2: Fiala nets pretty passing play for PPG

Johansen made it 3-1 at 16:32 after P.K. Subban blocked a shot in the defensive zone that led to a breakaway. Nathan MacKinnon scored at 17:08 to get the Avalanche within 3-2.

Video: COL@NSH, Gm2: MacKinnon pots backhand on the rush

"I think they got the momentum on the power play and they kept it because I think we were shorthanded three times in the second period, which was too much," Colorado coach Jared Bednar said.

Pekka Rinne made 26 saves for Nashville. Jonathan Bernier made 28 for Colorado.

"It's a huge advantage for us playing in our building with the atmosphere we have and can feed off that and play our game," Johansen said. "It was great to get some confidence here in the first two games at home. I think it shows how comfortable we are in our building in finding ways to get two wins to start the series off."


Goal of the game

Johansen's goal at 16:32 of the second period.

Video: COL@NSH, Gm2: Johansen finishes breakaway on backhand


Save of the game

Rinne's save on MacKinnon 9:48 into the second period.

Video: COL@NSH, Gm2: Rinne stretches pad for strong save


Highlight of the game

Arvidsson's goal at 12:36 of the second period.

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


They said it

"We handed them a couple of goals tonight. The one on the change late, we have time and we threw it over by our bench and they got one there. Not getting above the puck on the one 4-on-4, we gave them a couple breaks there. We can't do that. It's too hard and too competitive to find ice to create scoring chances." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar


"We let them hang around a bit. You get up two in the third, you want to be able to win those games. I know we won, but letting them keep sticking around can be dangerous the more games you get into a series. Two-goal leads are great, but we've got to protect them a little bit better." -- Predators forward Nick Bonino


Need to know

Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard (upper body) was scratched and is day to day. "He's a big part of our team right now," Bednar said. "You guys have all seen what he's done for us. Especially here recently, he's elevated his game at the right time. With Erik Johnson (knee) already out of the lineup, then he becomes an even more valuable guy for us." ... MacKinnon had one goal, one assist, six shots on goal and eight shot attempts in 24:58 of ice time. ... Eight players have scored the 10 goals for Nashville. Filip Forsberg and Watson have two each.


What's next

Game 3 of Western Conference First Round at Pepsi Center on Monday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS, ALT, FS-TN)

Video: Balanced attack lifts Predators to 5-4 win in Game 2

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