3 keys: Predators at Avalanche, game 2 of the first round of the West
(WC2) Predators to (1C) Avalanche
9:30 p.m. ET; DTT, SN360, SNE, TVAS, ALT, BSSO
Colorado leads best-of-7 series 1-0
Connor Ingram will make its first Stanley Cup Playoff start, and the Nashville Predators will look to bounce back against the Colorado Avalanche in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round at Ball Arena on Thursday.
Ingram allowed two goals on 32 shots in relief from david rittich in a 7-2 loss in Game 1 on Tuesday, after Rittich allowed five goals on 13 shots in 15:04. Every goal Ingram allowed went to a teammate.
“He looked calm in there, so we’re going to give him the opportunity to play,” Predators coach John Hynes said.
Ingram made his first three NHL starts this season, going 1-2-0 with a 3.71 goals-against average and .879 save percentage.
Juuse Saros, the Predators’ No. 1 goaltender, is out with a lower-body injury. He is skating without skates and could return for Game 3 in Nashville on Saturday.
“There is a possibility,” Hynes said. “It’s still a work in progress. I wouldn’t rule it out at this point.”
hynes said Jeremy Lauzon will replace Matt Benning on defense, and the Predators have yet to make a decision on a roster change up front.
Before André Cogliano will not play but Avalanche coach Jared Bednar declined to say who would replace him. Cogliano left with an upper-body injury in the second period of Game 1 but participated in morning practice Thursday.
Here are 3 keys for game 2:
1. Start strong
The Predators want a better start after falling 5-0 early in Game 1.
“Granted it stings a bit,” said the Predators defender Mark Borowiecki mentioned. “It’s a bit of an ego shock, I think, as a group and as individuals. But you can take one of two directions depending on that. It’s either lip slip and feeling sorry and pouting about it or saying, ‘Hey, let’s put some chip on our shoulder.'”
The Avalanche want to put the Predators on their heels again.
“They’ll be ready to play as soon as the puck comes into play,” Bednar said. “I’m sure they’ll talk about weathering the storm at the start of the game. I’d like to go out and have the exact same start.”
2. Stay disciplined
The Predators want to be physical and can accept in-game aggression penalties, but need to avoid on-game penalties like high sticks after the whistle and horse collars in front of the net.
“These are correctable errors,” Hynes said.
If the Predators lose their discipline, the Avalanche must keep theirs and take advantage of the power play. They scored two power-play goals from five chances in Game 1, including one on a 5-on-3.
“We don’t need to get involved in every scrum after the whistle,” Bednar said. “I mean, you have to defend yourself to a point, but our guys have been instructed [that] if we have the opportunity to skate, then that’s what we’re going to do. It’s not a matter of ego. It’s about winning.”
3. Focus on defense
The Avalanche’s offensive assault begins at home.
“The conversation in the room isn’t necessarily about how we’re going to score goals,” the Avalanche captain said. Gabriel Landeskog mentioned. “It’s about how we’re going to defend and how quick we’re going to be to contact in the [defensive] area. For our team, that translates into good attacking chances.”
Scheduled Predators Lineup
Philippe Forsberg — Mikael Granlund — Matt Duchene
Luc Kounin — Ryan Johansen — Philippe Tomasino
Yakov Trenin — Colton Sissons — Tanner Jeannot
Nick Cousins — Michael McCarron — Mathieu-Olivier
Romain Josi — Dante Fabbro
Mattias Ekholm — Alexander Carrier
Mark Borowiecki — Jeremy Lauzon
Striped: Ben Harpur, Eeli TolvanenMatt Benning, Philip Myers, Matt Luff
Injured: Juuse Saros (lower body)
Planned programming for avalanches
Valery Nichushkin — Nathan MacKinnon — Mikko Rantanen
Gabriel Landeskog — Nazem Kadri — Arturi Lehkonen
Andre Burakovsky — J.T. Compher — Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Logan O’Connor — Nico Sturm — Darren Helm
Devon Toews — Cale Makar
Samuel Girard — Josh Manson
Bowen Byram — Erik Johnson
Striped: Jack Johnson, Alex Newhook, Ryan Murray, Kurtis MacDermid
Injured: Andrew Cogliano (upper body)
Lauzon (lower body injury) will play for the first time since April 16. … O’Connor could replace Cogliano; he has one assist in seven NHL playoff games