The Predators began their five-game road trip Wednesday in Denver to take on the Colorado Avalanche. Nashville was without the services of Viktor Arvidsson after being placed on injured reserve Monday. Pekka Rinne received his third straight start since returning from injury and the Predators were victorious by a score of 4-1.
This was the first game back in the Pepsi Center since Game 6 in the first round of the 2018 playoffs. Less than a minute and a half into the game, Roman Josi was called for a slashing penalty, giving the Avalanche an early power play, but Nashville held the Avalanche power play unit to zero shots. Around 10 minutes after the power play opportunity for Colorado, Nick Bonino shot the puck in front of Semyon Varlamov, and Colton Sissons jumped on the rebound to give the Preds the 1-0 lead with 6:21 left in the first period. With less than three minutes left, Josi obtained the puck along the benches, passed it and it got behind Varlamov with a wrister from Sissons to give the Preds a two-goal lead to end the first period.
With a beautiful feed from former Preds defenseman, Samuel Girard, Ian Cole had a clear view for a slapshot that went past Rinne with a little over a minute gone in the second period. Head Coach Peter Laviolette however, decided to challenge the play for offside. The challenge went in favor of the Preds and brought the game back to 2-0. With 12:52 left in the second period, Matt Calvert redirected the puck behind Rinne, but the refs immediately waved it off for a high-stick on the puck. This call was overturned and the Avalanche pulled within one. Mikko Rantanen slashed Ryan Hartman with 37 seconds left of the second period, and the Preds headed to the power play. Sissons netted his third goal of the game when he tipped Kyle Turris’ shot past Varlamov for a power-play goal giving the Preds a 3-1 lead heading into the third period.
After a slow start to the third period, Ian Cole blindly passed the puck around Frederick Gaudreau to Colin Wilson in front of Rinne, netting the second goal for Colorado. This, however, also received a coach’s challenge for being offside as Kerfoot entered the zone before the puck. The goal was reversed and the Preds kept their two-goal lead. Colorado pulled their goalie with three minutes left in regulation to give them the man advantage, and Ryan Hartman gave Preds fans their frosty goal with an empty netter to end the game.
Sissons scored his second regular season hat trick, third in his career. The Preds are now 11-0-0 in their last 11 regular season games against the Colorado Avalanche, and 7-0-0 so far on the road this season. The team heads to Dallas to take on the Stars on Saturday with a puck drop at 1:00 pm Central.