On Tuesday night, the Nashville Predators hosted the Colorado Avalanche at Bridgestone Arena. The Preds came out somewhat flat as they went down after the end of the first period 1-0. Colorado’s Cody McLeod put one past Carter Hutton at 11:52 of the 1st.
In the second period, the Preds started to take control of the game and scored two goals (Roman Josi-3:33, Colin Wilson (PPG)-13:21). Jerome Iginla tied the game up for the Avalanche and at the end of the second the score was 2-2.
At the start of the thord period, the Preds looked to continue being one of the NHL’s best during the final period of play. Filip Forsberg scored 32 seconds into the 3rd period and the team went into cruise control for the rest of the 3rd.
Late into the third , the Avalanche pulled Semyon Varlamov, and another late lead slipped away, as Nick Holden scored at 19:34 to put the game into OT.
All night, Craig Smith was pressing hard, but he was denied on many opportunities. In the OT, after a spectacular pass from Mike Ribeiro, Smith got the puck on a breakaway and beat Varlamov at 2:46 of the OT, giving Nashville the win.
Tonight, the Preds look to take down their division rival, St. Louis Blues, at Scottrade Center.
The last outing for the St. Louis Blues was on January 19th as they faced the Colorado Avalanche. In this matchup, the Blues won 3-1 with goals by Carl Gunnarsson (2), Jaden Schwartz-PPG (16), and T.J. Oshie (13).
On the season, Vladimir Tarasenko continues to lead the team in points with 47. Tarasenko has 24 goals and 23 assists. He is one of the top offensive players in the league at 5th for goals and 10th in points. With a plus/minus of +23, Tarasenko is 10th in the league in this statistical category.
Keys to Watch
10 days off
When these two teams face off, you will always look for any advantage. One noticeable advantage for the Preds is the possibility of St. Louis having a little game rust. With their last matchup on January 19th, I foresee the Blues coming out a little flat due to their delayed start of the 2nd half of the season. Nashville will need to take advantage and have a quick start to tonight’s match-up.
Home vs Road Record
Much has been said about Nashville’s record at home of 19-2-1. The road record for Nashville is not as impressive. With a record of 12-8-1, the Predators can have struggles away from Bridgestone Arena. The key to a great team is the consistency at home and away. The Predators will need to have success away from Nashville to make a deep run in the playoffs.
Mike Ribeiro… A Revelation
With the signing of Mike Ribeiro in the offseason, many close observers of the team had growing concerns with this acquisition. Now, in retrospect, the signing was ingenious. Ribeiro has been outstanding for the Preds with his ability to create, get others involved, and become a leader on the team. Ribeiro has 32 assists on the season and sole possession in points for the team with 42.
Nashville will look to expand their lead in the Central Division with a win tonight in St. Louis. With a 7:00 pm CST start, make sure you don’t miss a minute of Nashville Predators action. Catch the game on FS-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game.