Game 69. Avs-Predators. Third Period Push not Enough as Avs Lose 4-2

Posted: March 8, 2012 in Avs vs. Nashville Predators, Game Thoughts

This is a tough loss to take tonight, because the Avs really could have made up some ground in the Western Conference with a win tonight, and given all of their opportunities in the third period, it is a tough loss.

Much like Steve Downie, Jamie McGinn had a slow start with the Avs but has recently caught fire. He opened the scoring tonight only 1:14 into the game. The credit goes to David Jones however who made a nice move at the blue line, and then got the pass to McGinn right in front of the net, and he was able to pound it home.

But talk about not responding well…the Avs let in two goals in the next 6 minutes to give up their early lead. I missed the first period, but since the box score says Mike Fisher scores, and his shot was a wrist shot practically from the blue line, I think it is safe to say it was a pretty weak goal. Without being able to see more than 1 angle, I have no clue why Varlamov didn’t stop it.

The other Nashville goal went to Brandon Yip. But I don’t want to hear that the Avs should not have put him on waivers, he has been a healthy scratch lately for Nashville too. He tipped a slapshot right in front of the net for the goal. Nothing Varlamov could have done about it, and after this goal, Varly settled in quite nicely.

Honestly, even though the Avs were out shot 14-22 over the last 2 periods, I thought they held their own as far as getting chances. Both teams really had their opportunities to get on the board, but both goalies were solid.

The Preds went up 3-1 will less than a minute remaining in the second period, and it was one of the few times all year where Landeskog has made a bad decision. He circled around the Avs net, and tried to make a cross ice pass in front of the net and Matt Halischuk deflected the pass right to Sergei Kostitsyn in the slot with all day, and fired one past Varlamov. I thought that was the game right there, but I didn’t realize how costly that goal turned out to be.

I expected the Avs to get a goal in the last 10 minutes of the 3rd, but not really challenge for a win, but they came out strong early, and Paul Stastny found the back of the net 5 minutes into the period. The early goal actually game me hope that they could get another goal, and at least send the game to OT, but they just could not capitalize.

Cody McLeod rocketed a wrist shot off the crossbar, which then bounced off of Pekka Rinne’s back and towards the goal, but he was able to stop the puck before it crossed the line. Later in the period, Ryan O’Reilly’s shot was tipped and rang off the crossbar again. The Avs kept consistent pressure on the Preds over the last 10 minutes, but couldn’t beat Rinne. It was so frustrating because for once they scored early in the third to get back in a game, and had so many chances, but Rinne was solid.

The Preds added an empty netter from Martin Erat with less than a minute left to ice the game. Two points down the drain for the Avs. But at least Los Angeles and Anaheim lost as well, not to mention both Phoenix and Dallas are currently losing in the third period. But with all these teams not picking up any points tonight, I would have loved to see the Avs at least get 1.

The Avs are back to division games when they take on the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday at Pepsi Center. The game starts at 1 p.m. Mountain time.

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