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game recap

Predators hold on against Avalanche in Game 4

Rinne makes 31 saves for Nashville, which is one win from advancing

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

DENVER -- The Nashville Predators held on for a 3-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche in Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round at Pepsi Center on Wednesday.

The Predators lead the best-of-7 series 3-1. Game 5 is at Nashville on Friday.

Pekka Rinne, a Vezina Trophy finalist, made 31 saves to rebound after allowing four goals and being pulled at 4:25 of the second period in a 5-3 loss in Game 3.


[WATCH: All Predators vs. Avalanche Game 4 highlights | Complete Predators vs. Avalanche series coverage]


"It was a battle tonight," Rinne said. "The first two periods, great lead, 3-0. [Colorado's] a good team. They came back and we battled. We did a really good job at the end there. We blocked a few and they missed the net a couple of times. We killed the clock pretty good at the end and did a really good job."

Filip Forsberg, Colton Sissons and Craig Smith scored for the Predators.

"[Colorado's] not going to go anywhere, we're ready for that," Forsberg said. "It's been four really hard-fought games so far and we're looking for another one Friday."

Alexander Kerfoot and Gabriel Landeskog scored, and Jonathan Bernier made 23 saves for the Avalanche before leaving the game after the second period with a lower-body injury. He was replaced by Andrew Hammond, who made eight saves.

"Haven't seen [Hammond] a lot, hasn't played a lot, but he's been in twice now and done a good job," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "That's the situation we could possibly be in. I don't know if that's the case just yet. From what I've seen, [Hammond] has been OK."

Forsberg scored to give the Predators a 1-0 lead at 15:33 of the first period. After taking a pass from Ryan Johansen, Forsberg carried the puck into the Avalanche zone, skated around defenseman Duncan Siemens, and scored into an open net after Bernier missed on a poke-check.

"I thought we came out strong," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "It was a good response from the game before when I don't think we played very well."

Sissons extended the lead to 2-0 at 7:18 of the second period, scoring blocker side from the right hash marks off a pass from Forsberg.

Video: NSH@COL, Gm4: Sissons snaps shot past Bernier

Smith made it 3-0 at 11:49. After exiting the penalty box, he took a pass from Austin Watson and scored glove side from the left circle on a 2-on-1.

Landeskog cut it to 3-1 with a goal on a 5-on-3 power play at 5:20 of the third period.

Kerfoot knocked in a rebound at 11:01 to make it 3-2. Laviolette challenged for goaltender interference, but the goal was upheld after video review.

Video: NSH@COL, Gm4: Kerfoot buries loose puck in the crease

"They're a good team, they're a really good team," Forsberg said. "We played really good for two periods and was dominating the game, but we knew they were a good team and not going to quit. A lot of good players on that side. It was a good push by them. It was a close one, but we got the win."


Goal of the game

Smith's goal at 11:49 of the second period.

Video: NSH@COL, Gm4: Smith scores after exiting penalty box


Save of the game

Rinne's save on MacKinnon at 8:46 of the third period. 

Video: NSH@COL, Gm4: Rinne stones MacKinnon after nifty move


Highlight of the game

Forsberg's goal at 15:33 of the first period.

Video: NSH@COL, Gm4: Forsberg pots dazzling goal


They said it

"It's huge that we have a chance to finish the series at home. Obviously, that's something that is in the back of your head. We want to take it so bad and have this opportunity. But it's a good team, so we have to play again like this and I think that will be enough." -- Predators goalie Pekka Rinne


"Our goal is to go there and win, then we know we're coming home. You have to break it down. You can't think about, 'Well, we have to win three in a row.' It's simple, you go into Nashville, play your game the way we did in the third period, get to the game we played the other night early and stay with it." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar  


"We're still in it, it's not over yet. We can't win the series if we don't win Game 5." -- Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon


Need to know

Predators forward Ryan Johansen went to the locker room at 18:30 of the second period after a hit by Landeskog but returned in the third. … Predators forward Calle Jarnkrok (upper body) played in his first game since March 13. He had one shot and one hit in 11:43 of ice time. … Hammond last started a game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 17, 2015, against the Montreal Canadiens when he played for the Ottawa Senators.


What's next

Game 5 of Western Conference First Round at Bridgestone Arena on Friday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, TVAS, FS-TN, ALT)

Video: Predators hold off Avs' late rally to take Game 4



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