Avalanche take 3-0 lead over Preds with 7-3 win

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gabriel Landeskog scored twice in the second period, and the top-seeded Colorado Avalanche beat the Nashville Predators 7-3 on Saturday for a 3-0 lead in their first-round series. Western Conference.

Landeskog also had two assists. Nazem Kadri and Devon Toews each added a goal and an assist, and Artturi Lehkonen and Nathan MacKinnon each scored a power-play goal as Colorado went 4-for-5 on the power play to push Nashville to the brink of elimination. Cale Makar had three assists.

Valeri Nichushkin added an empty-netter with 2:46 to go. The Avs missed a few chances once Nashville retired goaltender Connor Ingram with over 4 minutes left.

Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper was injured with a minute left in the first period. Pavel Francouz replaced him and made 20 saves in his seventh career playoff appearance.

Matt Duchene, Eeli Tolvanen and captain Roman Josi each scored goals for Nashville. Alexandre Carrier collected two assists.

It’s the first time the Predators have trailed 0-3 in a series, and they’ll try to avoid being swept for the first time in their 15 playoff appearances in Game 4 on Monday night.

Colorado simply outscored the Predators, outscoring them 16-6 with a 137-81 shooting difference over the first three games.

Lehkonen once again put the Avs on the board midway through the first on another Nashville penalty, deflecting a slapshot from Toews. MacKinnon made it 2-0 just 21 seconds shy of the Avs’ next-man advantage at 16:07.

Duchene got Nashville on the board, scoring on a wrist at 5:37. Then Predators center stick Ryan Johansen caught Kuemper’s face and Francouz replaced him in front of the net.

The Predators managed to score twice on the one-man advantage in the second with Tolvanen scoring from the left faceoff circle at 5:41. Landeskog beat Ingram with a backhand on the man advantage midway through the second for a 3-2 lead, then Josi tied it with a slap shot from the blue line at 12:11.

Landeskog scored his second at 14:02 to give Colorado the lead.

The Avs got another advantage when Nashville lost their challenge of Landeskog’s goal to Lehkonen interfering with Ingram after Predators forward Mikael Granlund was blamed for the contact. When Ingram played the puck behind the net, he lost the puck and Kadri scored into the open net just 39 seconds later for a 5-3 lead.

Toews reinforced the lead with a shot from the top of the left circle midway through the third.


The Avalanche goaltender was injured with 56.6 seconds left in the first period when Johansen’s stick caught him through the mask. Kuemper removed the mask and was on the ice holding his head before skating towards the locker room holding a towel over his face. He was 37-12-4 for Colorado in the regular season and won the first two games of that series.


Ingram became the first rookie in Nashville history to start a playoff game in Thursday night’s Game 2 overtime loss. His 49 saves tied for most by a goaltender in his first playoff start in the last 10 years and tied for the fourth most saves by a Predators goaltender in history of the franchise in the playoffs. Ingram has stopped 79 of 83 shots faced in the first two games of this series after coming off the bench.


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