Looking to snap a three-game losing streak, the Colorado Avalanche had a large task in front of them as they took on the Nashville Predators at the Pepsi Center on Wednesday night. Wednesday night’s nationally-televised game marked the first meeting between the two clubs since their thrilling, six-game, first-round playoff series last spring.
The Avalanche kept the game interesting, but the Predators came away with the 4-1 victory, in part to a hat-trick performance from forward Colton Sissons.
After not playing for four days, the rust seemed to show on the Avs in the first period. One of the main concerns surrounding the Avs of late has been their hesitation to shoot the puck at opportune moments — including Avs forward Nathan MacKinnon passing up a chance to take a wide-open shot in the slot.
After being unable to pounce on their own offensive chances, the Predators made the Avs pay as Sissons tallied a couple of goals in the first period to give the Predators the 2-0 lead heading into the middle frame.
In the second period, the Avs seemed to have knocked off some of that rust that was holding them back, as they come into the second period firing on all cylinders.
The Avs found a way to get on the board when Avalanche defenseman Ian Cole blasted a shot from the point past Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne — but after a well-timed coach’s challenge from Predators head coach Peter Laviolette, Avs defenseman Samuel Girard was an inch offside a moment before the goal, forcing the goal to be overturned.
“With things like that, we have to just keep going,” Girard said, “Those things happen, so we needed to just continue to play our game and make sure that it doesn’t get to us.”
Later in the second period, the Avs’ Matt Calvert scored his first goal of the season at the 7:08 mark after redirecting a slap shot from Girard. Nashville challenged the goal for a high stick, but the goal stood in the Avs favor.
The Avs’ momentum came to a halt after the Predators jumped on a late power-play chance as Sissons completed his hat trick to give the Predators the 3-1 lead heading into the third period.
In a game that was filled with challenges, the Avalanche feel victim to another when what appeared to be a goal that would have cut the Predators’ lead to one was overturned after another challenge from Laviolette, determining that the Avs’ scoring play was offsides.
“I have to try to find the reviews or replays that they have, because to me one, can be inconclusive, maybe both, I don’t know,” Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said following the game, “but I think that our execution was poor [Wednesday night], and that slows down our pace and the tempo of the game.”
With this one in the books, things for the Avalanche do not get any easier as they head on the road for a two-game road swing in Canada. They start this road trip against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday, Nov. 9th. with puck drop scheduled for 6 p.m.