The Nashville Predators look to close out a strong month on a high note when they conclude a brief two-game road trip by visiting the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night. After winning only twice in eight games in October, the Predators are 8-3-2 in November despite a 3-0 loss at the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night.
Nashville closed last month with three straight defeats but turned its season around with a 5-1 rout of the Avalanche in Colorado on Nov. 1, getting a pair of goals from Craig Smith. Even in their first shutout defeat, the Predators were a force against Winnipeg, pouring a season-high 42 shots on goal. The Avalanche held a team meeting immediately after the beating against Nashville, but it failed to provide a spark as they lost three of their next four and continue to tread water. “It will be nice if we can win tomorrow to get -- I know it’s not technically .500, but it is in our minds,” leading scorer Nathan MacKinnon told reporters after Monday’s practice.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, FSN Tennessee (Nashville), Altitude (Colorado)
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (10-8-3): Nashville outscored the opposition 13-4 during a perfect three-game homestand prior to the loss at Winnipeg, which occurred with leading goal scorer James Neal, defenseman Ryan Ellis and forward Colton Sissons out of the lineup. Forward Viktor Arvidsson had a three-game point streak halted against the Jets, but he recorded six shots on goal in the loss. Filip Forsberg, who has scored only twice this season, has six goals and 14 points in 12 games against Colorado.
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (9-10-1): Colorado is dealing with some key injuries of its own, with captain Gabriel Landeskog (lower body) set to miss a sixth consecutive game and goaltender Semyon Varlamov (upper body) relegated to backup status after sitting out Saturday’s overtime loss to Vancouver. “Landy, we don’t really have anything new to report other than that he’s still I guess considered day-to-day for me,” coach Jared Bodnar told reporters of Landeskog. Calvin Pickard has lost both career starts to Nashville.
1. Nashville has killed off 13 straight power plays over the past five games.
2. MacKinnon has only one goal in a dozen games against Nashville.
3. Predators G Pekka Rinne, who has won his last three starts, is 16-7-2 with a 2.28 goals-against average versus Colorado.
PREDICTION: Avalanche 4, Predators 3