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Predators try to bounce back vs. Avalanche

by John Kreiser /

PREDATORS (0-1-0) at AVALANCHE (1-0-0)


Season series: The teams meet for the first of four times this season. The Colorado Avalanche won two of the three games last season, both at Pepsi Center.

Big story: The Nashville Predators weren't ready to go from the opening faceoff in their season opener against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, and it showed. The Blues scored three times before the game was 10 minutes old and went on to a 4-2 victory. The Avalanche are coming off a dominant 6-1 victory against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday and need a win before they go East for three games next week.

Team Scope:

Predators: Pekka Rinne's night in St. Louis didn't last long. Coach Barry Trotz hooked him 9:45 into the game after the Blues scored three times in a span of six shots.

"It's not the way you want to go in," Rinne said. "It's three quick goals and I just got pulled. Obviously [I'm] not happy with that and not happy with my effort."

Though his team was never able to recover from the bad start, Trotz was upset when it was suggested that the Predators were "blitzed."

"They blitzed us? Did you watch the game? We were blitzing them," Trotz said. "Three goals on six shots, exactly. That really isn't blitzing us. We were all over them and they come down and score. They weren't blitzing us, I know that. I know what blitzing feels like and that wasn't blitzing. That was pretty well even.

"They were able to score on all their chances."

Avalanche: With the exception of seeing goaltender Semyon Varlamov lose his shutout in the final seconds, opening night against the Ducks was perfect. That included the NHL debut of Nathan MacKinnon, the first player taken in the 2013 NHL Draft. The 18-year-old assisted on both goals by Jamie McGinn and held his own when the Ducks tried to rough him up.

While MacKinnon played down his performance, coach Patrick Roy was delighted.

'Play-wise, I thought he was fantastic," Roy said after Thursday's practice. "The first goal [he assisted], he made a great play to bring it in front and McGinn scored on that one. On the second one [he assisted], [PA] Parenteau did a super job going first in the corner, made a nice pass to him. There are not too many guys that can see a player from behind, and the play he made there -- and he is 18 years old, let's not forget that -- was fantastic."

Injury report: Nashville forward Victor Stalberg (shoulder) is on injured reserve. Filip Forsberg (lower body) is day to day but didn't play Thursday. … Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog didn't practice Thursday due to a leg injury. Defenseman Ryan Wilson is out with a knee injury.

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