Sven Andrighetto’s goal at 18:32 of the third period Friday night capped a stunning rally that gave the Colorado Avalanche a 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators in Game 5 of their first round Western Conference series at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
Andrighetto got to the rebound of J.T. Compher’s original shot that was saved by Pekka Rinne and roofed it for his first career playoff goal, ultimately cutting the Predators’ series lead to 3-2 and forcing a Game 6 to be played Sunday night in Denver.
Andrew Hammond was the star for Colorado, stopping 44 shots to record his first win in three career playoff starts. Hammond, who replaced Jonathan Bernier (lower-body injury) after the second period of Wednesday night’s 3-2 loss in Game 4, made 18 saves in the third period.
Rinne made 24 saves for Nashville, which lost for just the third time in its last 18 home games in the playoffs.
The Avalanche tied the game with Gabriel Landeskog’s fourth goal of the series at 15:49 of the third. After hemming the Predators in their zone, Colorado produced a beautiful tic-tac-toe sequence with Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon setting up Landeskog for a tap-in into an open net.
After two scoreless periods and just over 10 minutes of scoreless play in the third period dominated mostly by Nashville, it finally cracked the code on Hammond with a goal that was originally waved off and then counted after a video review.
Mattias Ekholm’s point blast bounced off Hammond to Nick Bonino, who was driving to the right post past rookie defenseman Samuel Girard. Bonino extended his right skate and directed the puck in, but referee Eric Furlatt immediately disallowed the goal for a kicking motion.
However, replay determined Bonino didn’t kick the puck on purpose, giving him his first goal of the playoffs.
The Avalanche nearly opened the scoring late in the first period, but Girard’s shot clanged off the crossbar. The Predators finished the period with a flurry, but Hammond saved three shots just before time expired.
Nashville closed the second period strong as well, pumping 15 shots at Hammond, but couldn’t solve him.
—Field Level Media