GO PREDS: Excited fans give Predators big send off to Denver

Pekka Rinne

GO PREDS: Excited fans give Predators big send off to Denver

Updates with new lead.

Predators defenseman Alexei Emelin, center, advances the puck with his hand in front of Avalanche left wing J.T. Compher in the first period of Game 2 on Saturday afternoon at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. The Presidents' Trophy winners started slowly, giving up a goal on Colorado's first shot for a second straight game. The goal was being announced when Comeau got a stick on Carl Soderberg's shot from the point to give Colorado a 2-1 lead at 4:51.

Between the penalties and increased offensive chances for Nashville in the second, the Predators finally broke open the scoring that was displayed in Game 1.

The Avs continued to crawl back, taking advantage of a 5-on-3 to make it 4-3 off a Gabriel Landeskog tip and then again - following a Predators' empty-netter - Alexander Kerfoot nets one with 35 seconds left in the game to pull within one. But the Avalanche couldn't get another puck past goalie Pekka Rinne. Those are the ones you get nervous about, the ones that are laying right there.

"I think there might have been a misconception, not from inside of our [locker room], that this was going to be easy", said Coach Peter Laviolette. "We did what we're supposed to do". "I thought we played two pretty good games here in Nashville, and we couldn't get a win".

Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist, and Viktor Arvidsson, Ryan Johansen and Austin Watson scored a goal apiece. "It's tough to come in here as an opposing team".

If necessary, the Predators will return to Nashville Thursday to prepare for game five. That's the way I look at it.

Nashville struggled early yet again despite having country star Brad Paisley singing the national anthem and wrestler Jeff Jarrett revving up the fans before the game. Now they are heading home for the next two games where they will be hoping to even the series. The Avalanche, on the other hand, are playing without No. 1 defenseman Erik Johnson, top goaltender Semyon Varlamov and may not have rookie defenseman Samuel Girard for Game 3.

Nathan MacKinnon scored shortly after, cutting the Predators lead in half. Johansen got the puck on a breakaway and beat Bernier with a backhander. However, the Preds proceeded to score the next four goals, topping the Avs 5-2. The Avalanche had eight giveaways, this one resulting in a 4-2 Predators lead. Rinne made 26 saves.

NOTES: The Predators have started series twice before 2-0 and won both series, including last spring when they swept Chicago in the first round. Bernier was 19-16 with a 2.85 GAA and a.913 save percentage during the regular season, including 13-4 with a 2.34 GAA and a.928 save percentage here at home. Bednar said Girard is day to day. During the regular season, he was 42-17 with a 2.31 GAA and a.927 save percentage overall, including 17-9 with a 2.07 GAA and a.937 save percentage out on the road.

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