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game recap

Grubauer makes 38 saves, Avalanche shut out Predators

MacKinnon has two goals, assist to help Colorado move into playoff position

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

Grubauer's incredible save

COL@NSH: Grubauer slides across to make terrific stop

Philipp Grubauer slides across the crease and just gets a piece of Ryan Ellis' shot to make a difficult save in the 3rd period

  • 00:46 •

NASHVILLE -- Philipp Grubauer made 38 saves for his first shutout with the Colorado Avalanche in a 5-0 win against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.

Nathan MacKinnon had two goals and an assist, and Alexander Kerfoot had a goal and two assists for Colorado (27-24-11), which has won four in a row and five of six.

Colorado is tied in points with the Dallas Stars, who hold the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. The Avalanche lead the Minnesota Wild by one point for the second wild card.

 

[WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Predators highlights]

 

"We kind of looked ourselves in the mirror," MacKinnon said. "We had to make a decision if we wanted to push for the playoffs or be a lottery team. We haven't achieved our goal yet. Obviously we have 20 games left, but we're on the right track so it feels good."

Pekka Rinne made 16 saves for the Predators (36-23-5), who are in second place in the Central Division, one point behind the Winnipeg Jets.

Video: Bobrovsky, Grubauer, McElhinney earn Pepsi Shutouts

"It was a game that we were chasing the whole day," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "They got the first one and scored a power-play goal. I thought we pushed and pressed the whole day. I mean, everything is going to line up in our favor except the scoreboard at the end of the night, but there were some things that I thought we could've done better."

MacKinnon gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead at 3:05 of the first period on a one-timer from the left face-off circle off a pass from Nikita Zadorov.

"We've had a lot of tough years against Nashville," MacKinnon said. "We haven't won very many games against them in the regular season. I think in the playoffs we gained a little confidence in this building. We played well. We were in a lot of games. These guys are tough to play against, but [Grubauer] was our best player tonight."

Kerfoot made it 2-0 at 14:41 of the second period on the power play. Mikko Rantanen passed across the ice to Kerfoot, who shot into an open net for his 11th goal.

Gabriel Landeskog extended the lead to 3-0 at 18:02 on a 3-on-1 rush. Samuel Girard delivered the pass across the crease, and Landeskog scored his 33rd goal.

Video: COL@NSH: Landeskog scores on give-and-go with Girard

"At times we're pretty good," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "I think the most competitive and sort of the most pushback that I've seen from our team consistently was when we played the Predators in the playoffs last year. So that's kind of where I tried to set the new bar for our team, and we've had it at times here and we didn't have it in others. 

"I think a couple of recent games just against [the Winnipeg Jets] that we were good. We were physical. We were competing. We had the pushback and we were disciplined and won those games. Tonight is another example of it because I thought it was a well-played hockey game."

MacKinnon made it 4-0 at 9:59 of the third period, scoring his 32nd goal on a one-timer from the left circle on the power play. 

Zadorov pushed it to 5-0 at 16:42 on a one-timer from the point for his sixth goal.

Video: COL@NSH: Kerfoot scores PPG on feed from Rantanen

 

They said it

"He hasn't played in a while. I'm sure he's been frustrated not being able to get in the net, and he did the best thing he could. He played his best game of the year. Obviously [Semyon Varlamov] has been awesome for us and it's great to have two goalies that are very capable. We're going to need them to be our best players, and they have been lately, so it's been great." -- Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon on goalie Philipp Grubauer

Video: Bobrovsky, Grubauer, McElhinney earn Pepsi Shutouts

"Honestly, I didn't think it was a 5-0 game at all. I actually thought we played pretty well. We had a lot of chances, and they just capitalized on all of their chances. Like it sounds weird, it was 5-0, but I actually thought we played a pretty good game." -- Predators defenseman Roman Josi

 

Need to know

Predators defenseman Dan Hamhuis left in the second period with an undisclosed injury. … Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson had six shots on goal and 10 shot attempts. … Avalanche forward Carl Soderberg had two assists and has seven points (three goals, four assists) in his past three games. … Landeskog has seven points (four goals, three assists) in his past six games. 

 

What's next

Avalanche: Host the Florida Panthers on Monday (9 p.m. ET; ALT, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Predators: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Monday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-TN, SNW, NHL.TV)

Video: Grubauer, Avalanche blank Predators, 5-0

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