The Nashville Predators went into Monday night looking to keep their season alive and hoping to claim their first win of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Colorado Avalanche. After 60 minutes of action, the Predators were swept for the first time in franchise history after suffering a 5-3 loss.
Colorado continued their momentum from the previous three games and earned the first lead of the night. Andre Burakovsky earned his first goal of the playoffs and 24th goal the season just 1:56 into the game.
With 1:01 left in the first period, Yakov Trenin launched a laser to tie things up at one before intermission.
The second period felt quite slow. Seven minutes of play passed before the Predators could manage to put a shot on goal, according to On The Forecheck.
Cale Makar, a finalist for the James Norris Memorial Trophy, scored his fourth of the playoffs with J.T. Compher’s second assist of the night.
Trenin answered with his second of the night just over three minutes later. Colton Sissons earned his second point of the night with his primary assist. Things were tied at two going into second intermission. It seemed that there was hope that they would compete in a game five.
The third period began and the Predators started to create quality chances by rushing into their zone. There was a great set-up feed from Philip Tomasino to Josi in front, but the shot went wide.
Filip Forsberg followed the sequence up with his first playoff goal. Bridgestone Arena was electric. The Predators had claimed their first lead of the night and of the playoffs.
Matt Duchene was later high-sticked in the offensive zone, but there was never a penalty called on the play. Duchene was bent over, holding his hands to his face and slowly skating to the bench. The crowd was waiting on the signal, when the ref instead signaled a goal for the Avalanche. Devon Toews had tied the game at three.
Burakovsky and Makar teamed up for the fourth Avalanche goal. Valeri Nichushkin earned his 26th goal of the season to re-claim the lead. The energy in the building deflated.
Connor Ingram was pulled from the net with 1:52 left in the game. Just 27 seconds later, Forsberg was sent to the penalty box while trailing 4-3. Makar sent the puck to Nathan Mackinnon for an empty-net, powerplay goal.
It’s safe to say that Nashville wasn’t supposed to perform well against one of the top teams in the NHL, let alone even make it to the playoffs.
They saw success throughout their season with Roman Josi, Matt Duchene, Filip Forsberg, Juuse Saros and youth leadership. Several franchise records were broken with the group, including Josi being named a finalist for the Norris Memorial Trophy and Saros being named as a potential finalist for the Vezina Trophy.
The Avalanche are the first team to move on to the second round of the playoffs. They will compete against the winner of the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues. The Predators are scheduled to hold a media availability on Tuesday, May 10th at 5pm.