Filip Forsberg goes between legs twice on filthy goal

Scripps

The Jets closed their most successful season in both victories and points on a 20-5-1 run, including winning the final nine home games. Plucky underdogs no more, the Preds are fresh off their first Presidents' Trophy.

In the second, Rinne got help from Matt Irwin clearing J.T. Compher's shot, and the Predators tied it on a wrist shot from Watson that squeezed over Bernier's left shoulder at 3:14. The Avs are top heavy, but what a top they have. And therein lies the strength of this roster.

"This is obviously what you play for". Avs goaltender Semyon Varlamov's injury gives them a significant advantage in every category. Jonathan Quick's 2.40 goals-against average was sixth among goalies appearing in 40 games. There's a reason for that. His wife Martine is a former runway model, while their baby boy Tyler is a first-ballot pick for the all-cute team. Colorado isn't a particularly big team, and running into big teams is sometimes tantamount to hitting a brick wall.

It feels good having a Nashville team as the top dogs in the playoffs. The Avs are particularly light in the shot attempts category, largely because they don't have the puck enough.

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Craig Smith was left all alone in the slot and rifled a shot over the glove of Bernier to bring Nashville even with Colorado for a second time. This goal made it 4-2 Predators and it was done. Those days are long gone.

After being one of the NHL's worst teams in 2016-17, the Avalanche returned to the postseason for the first time in three years.

P.K. Subban is a dark horse Norris Trophy candidate.

"Same group of guys, same great mindset, great mentality in this group, but we're a more skilled team", Forsberg said.

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The Wild limp into their sixth straight playoff appearance with defensemen Ryan Suter (broken right ankle) and Jared Spurgeon (torn right hamstring) sidelined, though Spurgeon is expected back from a 17-game absence in this series. But who's kidding whom? "It's playoff time, and we have to be in control of our actions on the ice", Laviolette said. These guys don't lose very often.

The Avs' Mikko Rantanen had a glorious chance to get the visitors back on top shortly after Smith's goal, but Rinne made a terrific pad save on his breakaway. If they lack finish it could be a pretty short series for Colorado. Meanwhile, the Predators field the opposite - almost unrivalled depth at forward. It was a killer for Colorado, who had fought all night to come away with this game.

But Nashville has Filip Forsberg. Nashville doesn't, and that's fine because they have a bunch of really good forwards.

This series featured a team that won a record 53 games during the regular season and Colorado, which had to win its regular season finale to squeak into the postseason a point ahead of St. Louis. These days he's the odds-on favorite to claim the Conn Smythe trophy as the MVP of the playoffs. Parking and tickets are free, and concessions are discounted 25 percent. The Preds are going to be focusing a ton of effort on that line. They fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins four games to two. Meanwhile, Colorado was battling for a post-season berth right down to the season's final weekend and comes in hungry. They offered a little insight into the team they're about to face. Tyson Barrie has 57 points. This one gets going at 9:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 12 and it can be caught live on NBC Sports Network. Fans will name the other catfish through a social media poll with suggestions so far including Stanley, of course, in honor of the Stanley Cup. He was acquired for Seth Jones for that objective. Don't count him out yet.

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