The Nashville Predators (47-23-10) were looking to take advantage of a St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks loss on Tuesday night to take the sole lead of the Central Division with only two games remaining on everyone’s schedule.
During the 1st period, at 05:02, Calle Jarnkrok (7) got the Preds on the board 1st to give Nashville a 1-0 lead.
At 15:32 of the 2nd period, Jarome Iginla (27) tied the game up after a Mattias Ekholm “blown tire.” Only 9 seconds later, at 15:41, Ryan O’Reilly (17) gave the Avs a 2-1 lead.
The 3rd period allowed for the Preds to get back into the game, at 01:20, when Ryan Ellis scored a PPG to tie the game back up. Colorado’s Joey Hishon scored at 07:06 to win the game for the Avs.
Nashville will try to rebound as they welcome in the Minnesota Wild for their final home game of the regular season.
Keys to Watch
Devan Dubnyk out tonight
Dubnyk has been one of the most dominate goalies in the NHL this season. For the Preds sake, Dubnyk will be resting tonight for the Minnesota Wild. To take his place will be Darcy Kuemper. On the season, Kuemper has a 13-12-2 record, with a 2.62 GAA, and .904 SV %. If Nashville wants to win the Central Division, they MUST leave with 2 points tonight. Failure to do so will make it very difficult for the Preds to win their first Division title in the organization’s history.
Increased production from #4
Since returning from injury, Ryan Ellis has increased his production on the ice, especially on the PP. Over the past two games, Ellis has contributed 2 goals. It will be vital for the Predators to get production from the defensive corps during the playoffs and Ellis will be able to provide offense from the point. With a big shot and excellent passing ability, Ellis gives offensive depth in the 2nd pairing and creates offensive chances.
Give Volchenkov a chance!
Recently, the Preds defense has not had much productivity from Cody Franson. Franson has played sub-par and has nothing to show for his acquisition, which was thought to be a positive get for the Preds. Over the past 7 games, Franson has 1 goal (the only goal since the aquisition), -3 rating, and has been a defensive liability at times. It is time to give Anton Volchenkov a chance to see what he can do for the Preds as Nashville prepares for the NHL Playoffs. I say… Bench Franson, Insert Volchenkov.
Tonight’s matchup is vital to the Central Division winner. If Nashville wins, they will be in a good spot to take the title. A loss, with a St. Louis win, takes away the division from the Preds. FOX Sports Tennessee will have your TV coverage, with pre-game at 6:30 pm CST, and 102.5 The Game will have your radio coverage.
Puck drops at 7:00 pm CDT!!!