Cleat Geeks

The Burgundy Breakdown (Central Semifinals Game 3)

Welcome to the latest Stanley Cup Playoff edition of The Burgundy Breakdown, which recaps Game 3 of the Colorado Avalanche’s series against the Nashville Predators.

Down 2-0 in the Central Division Semifinals, the Avalanche were looking to get back on track on home ice, where they won 28 of their 43 games this season. The Avs got off to a quick start, with Blake Comeau scoring his second goal of the playoffs within the first two minutes of the game. Later on, Gabriel Bourque deflected Patrik Nemeth’s shot, sending it past Pekka Rinne and giving the Avalanche a 2-0 lead; their first two goal lead of the series. After a power play ended with no results, the lead became 3-0, when Nathan MacKinnon broke away after receiving Gabriel Landeskog’s pass, scoring past Rinne in the final minutes of the period. The Avalanche ended the first 20 minutes shorthanded, but they maintained a 3-0 lead.Image result for nathan mackinnon 2018

The Avs killed the rest of the penalty to kick off the second period, and it was in the period that MacKinnon netted his second goal of the game and his fifth career playoff goal to make it 4-0, as well as send Pekka Rinne to the bench. Bernier’s shutout bid ended with Ryan Johansen’s power play goal in the middle of the second frame, but the Avs led 4-1 after two. Colton Sissions made it a two goal game in the third, but Gabriel Landeskog’s awarded goal in the final minutes iced things for Colorado. Landeskog’s unselfish attempt to pass the puck to MacKinnon to get him the hat trick in the empty net led to him being tripped, and by rule, a penalty during a breakaway to the open net results in an awarded goal. Austin Watson scored very late in the third, but Nashville could do no more, and in the end, the Avalanche took Game 3 by a score of 5-3.

The Avalanche played with the same intensity that they had in the first two games, but the one difference was their lack of mental mistakes. The mental mistakes were made by Nashville in Game 3, and that led to Colorado’s golden opportunities. Nathan MacKinnon has three goals in three games this postseason; he had two in the entire seven-game series against the Wild in 2014. For the Avs, this victory ended a 12-game losing streak against the Nashville Predators; their last victory came on March 28, 2016 in Nashville. More importantly, it brought the Avalanche back in the series, and they have a golden chance to even things up and earn at least one more home game.

Game Four takes place Wednesday in Denver.

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