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Avs let upset slip away in Game 1 loss to Predators

Adrian Dater Avatar
April 13, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – People forget, the great Peter Forsberg played for the Nashville Predators, in 2007. Who would have ever believed, though, that someone else with the last name of Forsberg would go down as the better Predator?

Filip Forsberg, the draft pick the Washington Capitals used in the first round in a trade from the Avalanche in 2011, then stupidly traded him to the Predators for not much in return, added to his Nashville legend in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals with the Avs Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena.

Forsberg’s two third-period goals were the difference in a 5-2 Predators win. They’ll take a 1-0 best-of-seven series lead into Game 2 Saturday.

The Avs played a very good game, definitely outplaying the heavily-favored Predators for good stretches. Some bad luck and timely goaltending by Pekka Rinne kept them from being rewarded in the end.

Case in point: J.T. Compher came within an inch of putting the Avs up 2-0 early in the second period. A shot of his from the right circle hit Rinne, bounced high in the air and into the crease, almost over the goal line. It stayed out, and Nashville’s Austin Watson scored on the ensuing Preds counterattack down the ice.

A 2-0 game went to 1-1 just like that, and it woke the SEC college-football-loud Preds crowd up.

The Avs, though, came right back to make it 2-1 on Blake Comeau’s tip of a Carl Soderberg shot. It was 2-1 Avs at 4:51.

Then, however, came an iffy slashing penalty on Nathan MacKinnon at 8:40 of the second. Ten seconds later, after Mark Barberio’s second failed clearout of his PK shift, Craig Smith took a Ryan Johansen pass alone in front and tied it back up.

Mikko Rantanen had a breakaway late in the second, but Rinne made a desperation toe save.

On to the third it went, 2-2, anybody’s game. The Avs probably should have had a lead, but a tie game entering the third on the road was just the kind of result they would have taken had it been presented before the game.

But it all went to heck in the third. Forsberg was the hero, with his toe-drag goal around Sam Girard the backbreaker of a goal, making it 4-2.

Game 2 is Saturday afternoon right here.

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