The Nashville Predators took on the Colorado Avalanche last night at the Pepsi Center with newly-acquired Ryan Johansen.
The first period began with the Preds getting an early power-play when Cody McLeod charged Mike Ribeiro. On the power-play, Ryan Johansen took his first shot as a member of the Nashville squad, and it was glorious.
Colorado scored two unanswered goals at the end of the first period when Jarome Iginla-PPG and Cody McLeod scored to put the Avs up 2-1.
In the second period, Ryan Ellis scored his fifth of the season at 2:45.
The Avs responded to the Ellis goal when Gabriel Landeskog (10) put Colorado ahead 3-2 on a breakaway, two-on-one advantage. Later in the period, Filip Forsberg (11) was assisted by Roman Josi and Ryan Johansen to tie the game at 16:37 going into the third period.
Nashville wasn’t able to break through during the third, while Colorado scored another power-play goal and an empty-net goal to give Colorado the 5-3 victory.
Tonight, Nashville will travel to Arizona to take on the Coyotes in the desert. In their last outing, the Coyotes defeated the Calgary Flames 2-1.
Keys to Watch
Yotes on Fire
Within the last four games, the Arizona Coyotes have won three games. Their only loss was a shootout loss to Edmonton last Saturday. They have wins against Calgary, Vancouver, and Winnipeg with a goal differential of +3. They are one of the best face-off teams in the NHL with a win percentage of 53.1%. Louis Domingue is set to be in goal for the Coyotes. He has been on fire with a record of 5-0-2 in his seven starts this season, 1.97 goals-against average, and .941 save percentage. The last time the Coyotes defeated the Preds was on October 31st, 2013 and will be looking for the win.
Penalty Box Blues
Last night was the best example of the Nashville defense getting themselves in trouble. For those who watched last night, it seemed as though every time you looked the Preds were being sent to the penalty box. The Predators are currently ranked 10th in the NHL with an average of 10:35 every night in the box. The Preds have 168 penalty-minutes on the season. They have to stay out of the box and its becoming more of a problem because of the struggling penalty kill. The Preds are the second worst team in the NHL on the penalty kill with an average of 75.8%.
Rinne’s Road Struggle
Pekka Rinne is not the same from previous years. This season, Rinne leads the NHL with 13 losses in 35 games and the frustration is becoming more evident in his play. Rinne is a different player on the road than he is at Bridgestone Arena. Coach Laviolette needs to start Carter Hutton tonight. Give Pekka a break and allow for Hutton to get some work. On the season, Hutton has a record of 3-1-1 with a save percentage of .895 and goals-against average of 2.95.
Tonight, the Preds will look to get a victory against the streaking Arizona Coyotes. Be sure to check all of the action on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 8:00 pm!