Colorado Avalanche (43-30-9) at Nashville Predators (53-18-11)

NHL: Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 3:00 PM ET (Bridgestone Arena)

Goalies: Jonathan Bernier (19-13-3, 2.85 GAA) vs Pekka Rinne (42-13-4, 2.31 GAA)

Line & Odds: Colorado Avalanche +1.5/Nashville Predators -1.5 — Over/Under: 5.5

FREE NHL PICK NASHVILLE PREDATORS VS COLORADO AVALANCHE

The NHL playoff are underway as the Nashville Predators get set to host the Colorado Avalanche for Game 2 of the first round.

The Nashville Predators took care of business in Game 1 and defeated the Avalanche 5-2 behind two goals from Filip Forsberg and a goal and assist from Colton Sissons and Austin Watson. The Predators have the most depth out of any team in the league and they exercise it nightly on their way to averaging 3.18 goal per game (T7th in NHL) on 9.9% shooting (9th in NHL) and 32.2 shots on goal (15th in NHL). They are also extremely proficient in faceoffs as they complete 53.3% of them (T2nd in NHL), which gives them more possessions throughout the game. The Predators are also good defensively as they allow just 2.49 goals per game (2nd in NHL) and 32.4 shots on goal (21st in NHL). A big difference there and the reason for that has been the play of goalie Pekka Rinne as he’s been one of the best goalies this season with 42 wins (3rd in NHL), 2.31 GAA (5th in NHL), .927 SV% (7th in NHL) and 8 shutouts (T1st in NHL). One knock on this team is that they commit a lot of penalties and average 11.3 penalty minutes per game (31st in NHL). Good news is they kill 81.9% of opponent penalties (6th in NHL), so they cover up on their mistakes pretty well. X-Factor would be defender P.K. Subban, who had a tough Game 1. If he can come out strong this will be another win for Nashville.

The Colorado Avalanche fought hard in the first game of the series, but ultimately fell short. They got goals from Blake Comeau and Nikita Zadorov while the assists came from Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. During the season they were a solid offensive team averaging 3.11 goals per game (10th in NHL) on 10.5% shooting (3rd in NHL) and 29.7 shots on goal (30th in NHL). They are led by MacKinnon who has a team leading 39 goals and 58 assists and while the Avalanche are strong in power play (22.0%, 8th in NHL) they suffer in faceoffs (44.2%, 31st in NHL). On the defensive end, Colorado suffers a bit as they allow 2.88 goals per game (T14th in NHL) on 33.3 shots on goal (27th in NHL). They also average 8.9 penalty minutes per game (20th in NHL), but are one of the best at killing penalties (83.3%, 4th in NHL). Unfortunately, the Avalanche are suffering an injury to their starting goalie Semyon Varlamov, so they are going with backup Jonathan Bernier who has been serviceable in his time between the sticks. However, Bernier started Game 1 and struggled, so it’s possible the Nashville Predators have his number.

Cover The Spread 365 NHL betting trends

Nashville

4-1 ATS & SU in their last 5 games

9-4 ATS in their last 13 home games

The total has gone OVER in 5 of their last 7 games

Colorado

3-7 ATS in their last 10 games

1-4 SU in their last 5 games

The total has gone OVER in 4 of their last 5 games

FREE NHL PREDICTION NASHVILLE PREDATORS VS COLORADO AVALANCHE

In this matchup the Colorado Avalanche just simply don’t have enough talent to keep up with the Predators. When you add that they are missing their starting goalie then it just gets harder and harder for the Avalanche. I definitely think they can make it a series in Colorado, but in Nashville the Predators are taking care of business.

 Pick: Predators -1.5