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The Colorado Avalanche begin their Stanley Cup quest as they open their first round series against the Nashville Predators. Tones Takes makes his prediction for tonight's action.
ANALYSIS

Nashville Predators vs Colorado Avalanche Prediction: Will the Preds Continue their Success Against the Avs?

Colorado finished the season with 119 points, which was 2nd most in the league. Mikko Rantanen led the team in scoring with 36 goals and 56 assists, for 92 points. Cale Makar had a Norris worthy season as he finished with 28 goals and 58 assists, for 86 points. The Avs dominated on home ice as they had a record of 35-2-4 and averaged 4.15 goals per game.

The Nashville Predators had a very solid season as they finished with 97 points. Defensemen Roman Josi, who should win the Norris, led the team in scoring with 23 goals and 73 assists for 96 points. Former Av Matt Duchene led the Preds with 43 goals, which was a career high, by far. The Predators were a very good road team as they had a record of 20-16-5 and averaged 3.29 goals per game. 

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Nashville Predators vs Colorado Avalanche Prediction

Surprisingly, the Predators won three of four meetings with the Avalanche this season. Colorado won the first meeting by a 6-2 score at home. Nashville followed that with wins of 5-2 and 5-4, at home, then a 5-4 shootout win, in Colorado last week. Nashville outscored the Avs 17-16 in the season series.

The Predators were dealt a huge blow a couple of weeks ago as star goalie Jusse Saros went down with an injury. It is being reported that he will miss at least the first two games of the series. This leaves David Rittich as the starter, who simply did not have a good season, in limited action. Rittich went 6-3-4 this season with a 3.57 GAA and a .886 Save %. He went 1-1 against the Avs with a 4.80 GAA and a .877 Save %. Rittich gave up 9 goals in 2 last season starts. 

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Colorado has something to prove in the playoffs after getting ousted in the second round last season, losing four straight after taking a 2-0 series lead against Vegas. The Saros loss will not bode well for the Predators. I like the Avs to get off to a fast start in what will be a short series. This could end up in a sweep if Saros can't return. I like the value in the combo bet of Colorado and the over so I will ride with that. 

Nashville Predators vs Colorado Avalanche Pick

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Article Author

NHL

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Tone has been handicapping the four major sports for over twenty years. An NHL enthusiast, Tone’s expertise lies on the ice. He’s excelled and profited finding the right angles on NHL games, particularly with player props, game props, and game totals. A contributor to several gaming sites, you can follow him on Twitter @TonesTakes.

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