Nashville and Colorado combined for six power-play goals in Game 3, but it was the Predators who fell to the Avalanche by a 7-3 final on Saturday afternoon at Bridgestone Arena. The result sees the Preds now on the brink of elimination as they trail 3-0 in the Round One series.
Matt Duchene, Eeli Tolvanen and Roman Josi all tallied for Nashville in Game 3, but four of Colorado’s seven goals came with the man advantage as the series shifted back to Tennessee. The Predators say their 5-on-5 play was the best they’ve seen in the series, but the Avalanche took advantage of their chances to ultimately hand the Preds their third loss in as many tries.
“Tough loss,” Josi said. “Special teams were a huge factor tonight… We’ve got to be better on the power play, and be better on the penalty kill. Special teams are always a big factor. To get out of the box is always a big factor.”
“We did a really good job on the 5-on-5, and we know that we can play against these guys 5-on-5,” Tolvanen said. “We took way too many penalties. They scored four power-play goals. That’s one thing we have to clean up.”
Colorado had a 2-0 lead in the game’s first 16 minutes with a pair of power-play goals, but the Preds got on the board before the opening period was out courtesy of Duchene picking a corner on Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper to bring Nashville to within one goal. Then, late in the period, Kuemper caught an inadvertent stick through a hole in his mask and left the game with backup netminder Pavel Francouz taking over
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