Predators, Lightning take 2-0 series leads

Predators, Lightning take 2-0 series leads

No one was too anxious about the Nashville Predators when they slipped into the 2016-17 Stanley Cup playoffs as the 16th-ranked team out of 16 postseason contenders, and no one anticipated Bridgestone Arena playing host to Stanley Cup Final matchups with the defending champions, let alone getting by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round. Nashville wins 5-4 and takes a 2-0 series lead before heading to Denver, Colorado for Game 3 and Game 4. But the Avalanche couldnt get another puck past goalie Pekka Rinne. Subban had two assists for the Predators and was one of three Nashville players to record two points in the contest.

NOTES: The Predators have started series twice before 2-0 and won both series, including last spring when they swept Chicago in the first round.

What did we learn from Game One?

Viktor Arvidsson gave the Predators a 2-1 lead on a lovely unassisted play at 12:36 of the second period, beating Colorado goalie Jonathan Bernier, for the goal.

The series now moves to Colorado for game 3 on Monday night.

Pekka Rinne made 25 saves as Nashville put together a strong finish to its playoff opener after winning Presidents' Trophy for the first time this season. In his career, during the regular season, he has gone 116-121 with a 2.55 GAA on the road and 108-87 with a 2.39 GAA against the Central Division, while against the Avalanche he has gone 23-9 with a 2.28 GAA.

So far, Nashville has relied on a team approach to their scoring. Bernier allowed four goals on 32 shots (one goal was an empty-netter).

Nashville, Tn - The Nashville Predators will take flight to the high altitudes of Colorado with a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, winning today, 5-4. The Avs fell apart a little bit after falling behind in the third period, but you have to be encouraged with how they played for the majority of the game. The 35-year-old net-minder was a huge reason for Nashville's postseason run a year ago, and he's warded off Father Time for an even better go-round this time. In 2016, it won the final two of a series against Anaheim but then lost in seven to San Jose. Star Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and assist in Game 2 as did Gabriel Landeskog.

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 41 shots, limiting the Devils to rookie Nico Hischier's unassisted goal in the opening period, Sami Vatanen's sixth career playoff goal late in the second, Blake Coleman's third-period tally that trimmed Tampa Bay's lead to 5-3 with eight minutes left. Bernier was 19-16 with a 2.85 GAA and a.913 save percentage during the regular season, including 13-4 with a 2.34 GAA and a.928 save percentage here at home.

The Nashville Predators are right where they are supposed to be. Nashville outshot Colorado, 33-30. They came into a very hostile environment and went toe-to-toe with a great team. "Let me prove my uncle wrong because he's saying the Avalanche are going to win, so let me prove him wrong".

Colorado has averaged 5.6 giveaways over its last five home games, its season average of 6.2 giveaways per game (ranked 2nd).

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