Clubs that were recently involved in a blockbuster three-team trade meet Saturday when the Nashville Predators try for their eighth straight victory over the visiting Colorado Avalanche. Newly acquired Colorado defenseman Sam Girard, 19, faces the team that selected him in the second round of the 2016 draft for the first time but center Vladislav Kamenev, also acquired from Nashville in the Matt Duchene trade to Ottawa, broke his arm Thursday in his Avalanche debut.
Kamenev sustained his injury on a clean open-ice hit from Washington’s Brooks Orpik during Colorado’s 6-2 victory, dampening a contest in which captain Gabriel Landeskog scored his first career hat trick, and Nathan MacKinnon (five) and Mikko Rantanen (four) recorded career-high point totals. The Predators appeared to be en route to their sixth straight win before allowing four goals in the final 6:56 of a stunning 6-4 loss at Minnesota on Thursday. “I think sometimes you get a tendency to sit back a little bit when you’re up,” Nashville defenseman Roman Josi told reporters. “The best way to play defense is to be playing offense if you have the puck. We got to make sure if we’re up, we’ve got to keep playing and go for that next goal.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, Altitude (Colorado), FSN Tennessee (Nashville)
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (9-7-1): MacKinnon has an eye-popping 15 points (five goals) in his last seven games while Landeskog’s three-goal game gives him a team-high eight tallies. Girard has two assists in three games while averaging 22:02 of ice time and skating on the top defensive pairing with Erik Johnson. Tyson Barrie (14 points in 2017-18) missed his first game of the season Thursday with an upper-body injury but coach Jared Bednar told reporters he was hopeful the defenseman could play this weekend.
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (10-6-2): Filip Forsberg (team highs of nine goals and 19 points) has five points in his last three games after recording a pair of assists Thursday. Viktor Arvidsson (seven goals, 12 points) had a goal and an assist Thursday, giving him four and three in his last six games. Pekka Rinne is 4-2-0 this month despite an .895 save percentage, allowing three or more goals in five of the six contests.
1. Colorado rookie C Alex Kerfoot had his four-game point streak (four goals, seven points) snapped Thursday.
2. The Avalanche are 9-for-26 on the power play over their last seven contests while Nashville killed only five of eight man-advantage opportunities in the last two games.
3. The Predators won the opener of the four-game season series 4-1 on Oct. 17 behind a goal and an assist apiece from Arvidsson and Josi.
PREDICTION: Predators 3, Avalanche 2