Colorado at Nashville
When: 9:30 PM ET, Friday, April 20, 2018
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
The Nashville Predators have embraced the sweet sounds of Music City to the tune of winning 15 of their last 17 postseason home games, including the first two of their Western Conference first-round series against the Colorado Avalanche. The Predators aim to dance into the conference semifinals should they emerged victorious in Friday's Game 5 at Bridgestone Arena.
Filip Forsberg has been instrumental in Nashville's success with five points (three goals, two assists) in the series, including a highlight-reel goal and an assist in Wednesday's 3-2 win in Denver. "(Colorado's) not going to go anywhere, we're ready for that," the 23-year-old Swede said. "It's been four really hard-fought games so far and we're looking for another one Friday." The Predators return home with plenty of history on their side -- notably 13 wins in their last 14 encounters with the Avalanche -- but those long-term numbers aren't of an immediate concern for Hart Trophy candidate Nathan MacKinnon. "We're still in it, it's not over yet. We can't win the series if we don't win Game 5," said MacKinnon, who saw his five-game point streak (four goals, three assists) halted on Wednesday.TV:
9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, Sportsnet 360, TVAS, Altitude (Colorado), FS Tennessee (Nashville)ABOUT THE AVALANCHE:
Andrew Hammond has been confirmed to start in Game 5 after fellow goaltender Jonathan Bernier sustained a lower-body while making his eighth straight start contest in place of Semyon Varlamov, who is nursing a knee injury. "We've seen him catch lightning in a bottle before and win some hockey games. Hopefully he can do it again," Colorado coach Jared Bednar said of the 30-year-old Hammond, who took the hockey world by storm in 2014-15 when he posted a 20-1-2 mark with the Ottawa Senators. Captain Gabriel Landeskog could aid Hammond with his continued offense, as the 25-year-old Swede has scored a goal in three straight contests to boost his point total to nine (four goals, five assists) in his last five games.ABOUT THE PREDATORS:
Nashville will aim to close out the series without forward Ryan Hartman, who was suspended one game by the NHL on Thursday for an illegal check to the head of Colorado's Carl Soderberg at 4:42 of the third period. The 23-year-old Hartman likely will be replaced on the fourth line by rookie Eeli Tolvanen, 18, who has yet to record a point in three regular-season games since being selected with the 30th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Vezina Trophy finalist Pekka Rinne turned aside 31 shots in Game 4 to give the Predators a commanding series lead heading back to Nashville, where he sports a 23-13-0 career mark in the playoffs with a 2.10 goals-against average.OVERTIME
1. Colorado C Alexander Kerfoot has scored a goal in two of his last three contests and four of eight this month.
2. Nashville D Mattias Ekholm set up a pair of goals in Game 4 to increase his assist total to four in as many contests.
3. Avalanche D Tyson Barrie has five points (one goal, four assists) in his last six games.PREDICTION:
Predators 4, Avalanche 2
Stats and Records