PREDATORS 5, AVALANCHE 4
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Ryan Hartman got a bit nervous with the puck so close to the empty net after a shot by P.K. Subban.
The Nashville forward wound up with not only the first playoff goal of his career but the winner with 1:09 left as the Predators held off the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 on Saturday for a 2-0 lead in their first-round Western Conference series.
Hartman's goal gave the Predators a 5-3 lead until Alexander Kerfoot pulled Colorado to 5-4 with 35.8 seconds left. But the Avalanche couldn't get another puck past goalie Pekka Rinne.
"I knew he made a shot toward the net, and I just wanted to be there in case he missed the net to beat out the icing," Hartman said. "Sometimes those pucks don't bounce far enough to the front of the net -- luckily it did. Those are the ones you get nervous about, the ones that are laying right there. You just want to make sure you put it in."
The Presidents' Trophy winners gave up a goal on Colorado's first shot for a second consecutive game. Yet the Predators rallied again to take their first 2-0 lead when starting a best-of-seven series in their own building.
"It was nice to start here for sure in front of our fans, and it was nice to get the job done," Nashville Coach Peter Laviolette said. "We did what we're supposed to do. Now we got to go on the road and do what I said, you got to win some road games along the way too."
Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist, and Viktor Arvidsson, Ryan Johansen and Austin Watson scored a goal apiece. P.K. Subban and Mattias Ekholm each had two assists for Nashville, which has won 12 consecutive over the Avalanche.
Rinne made 26 saves for the victory.
Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist, and Gabriel Bourque and Gabriel Landeskog each added a goal for Colorado.
Game 3 is Monday night in Denver.
"We're going to go put our best foot forward," Colorado Coach Jared Bednar said. "To me, if we would clean up a couple of mistakes, we win that hockey game. That's the way I look at it. We're certainly capable of doing 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.
Bourque put Colorado up 1-0 on the Avs' first shot 2:34 into the game after a turnover in the defensive zone by Hartman.
Fiala tied it with 3 seconds left on Nashville's first power play a minute into the second period. Fiala beat Bernier with a snap shot from the inside edge of the left circle, and that seemed to get the Predators going.
The Predators kept Colorado from taking a shot until Nathan MacKinnon put one on net at 9:48, and Rinne smothered that.
Arvidsson gave the Predators a 2-1 lead, skating up the right side and blasted a slap shot that went under Jonathan Bernier's right arm for an unassisted goal. In a 4-on-4 situation, Predators defenseman P.K. Subban blocked a shot by Tyson Barrie. Johansen got the puck on a breakaway and beat Bernier with a backhander.
MacKinnon pulled the Avs within 3-2 just 36 seconds later with his first goal this postseason.
Watson scored off a Colorado turnover in the Predators' offensive zone in the third period for a 4-2 lead. But Nashville gave the Avalanche 1:46 of a 5-on-3 to rally, and MacKinnon's shot deflected off Landeskog to pull Colorado within 4-3. The Predators killed the rest of the penalty, and Rinne made a big pad save on Sven Andrighetto just after the advantage ended.
LIGHTNING 5, DEVILS 3
TAMPA, Fla.-- The good news for the Tampa Bay Lightning is they're up 2-0 on New Jersey in the first round of the playoffs and still haven't played their best hockey.
Alex Killorn scored twice during a four-goal second period, helping the top seed in the Eastern Conference beat the Devils 5-3 on Saturday in Game 2 of the best-of-seven series.
The Atlantic Division champions scored three times in a 2:47 span in the second period, and the reeling Devils pulled goalie Keith Kinkaid after Killorn's third goal in two games made it 5-1 with 6:48 remaining in the period.
Kinkaid, whose stellar play since January helped New Jersey finish strong and claim its first playoff berth since 2012, yielded five goals on 15 shots.
Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson also scored for Tampa Bay, which is up 2-0 in the series after going 0-2-1 against the Devils during the regular season.
Game 3 is Monday night in Newark, N.J.
BRUINS 7, MAPLE LEAFS 3
BOSTON — David Pastrnak had a hat trick and three assists to help Boston blow out the Toronto Maple Leafs for the sec-ond consecutive game, leading the Bruins to a victory and a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference playoff series.
Pastrnak shattered his previous career high of four points, scoring his third goal with 1:36 left. Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron each had four assists, and Torey Krug had three.
Tuukka Rask stopped 30 shots for Boston, and David Krejci, Rick Nash, Jake DeBrusk and Kevan Miller also scored.
Frederik Andersen gave up three goals on five shots in the first 12:13 before he was replaced by backup Curtis McElhin-ney. The Bruins added another power-play goal — their second of the night and fifth of the series — to make it 4-0 after one.
Mitch Marner, Tyler Bozak and James Van Riemsdyk scored for the Maple Leafs, who never got closer than three goals down after that. McElhinney stopped 19 of the 23 shots he faced.
The series moves to Toronto for Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Thursday.
FRIDAY’S LATE GAME
GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2, KINGS 1, 2OT
LAS VEGAS — Erik Haula’s goal in double overtime gave the Vegas Golden Knights a victory over the Los Angeles Kings for a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.
With 4:37 left on the clock in the sec-ond overtime, Haula skated in on his own to beat goalie Jonathan Quick and send a towel-waving crowd of 18,588 into a frenzy.
Game 3 in the best-of-seven series is tonight in Los Angeles.
Alex Tuch scored for expansion Vegas in regulation, and Paul LaDue had the Kings’ goal.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves for the Golden Knights. Quick stopped 54 shots for the Kings.
The Golden Knights outshot Los Ange-les in regulation, 35-20.
Game 1 featured 127 hits, including 68 by the Kings, and the rugged play contin-ued in Game 2, with the same physical theme. Los Angeles outhit the Golden Knights 80-56 after the two combined for 113 in regulation.
(Best-of-7; x-if necessary) SATURDAY’S GAMES
Tampa Bay 5, New Jersey 3
Tampa Bay leads series 2-0 Nashville 5, Colorado 4
Nashville leads series 2-0 Boston 7, Toronto 3
Boston leads series 2-0
San Jose 3, Anaheim 2
San Jose leads series 2-0 TODAY’S GAMES All times Central Pittsburgh at Philadelphia, 2 p.m.
Series tied 1-1
Winnipeg at Minnesota, 6 p.m.
Winnipeg leads series 2-0 Columbus at Washington, 6:30 p.m.
Columbus leads series 1-0
Vegas at Los Angeles, 9:30 p.m.
Sports on 04/15/2018
Print Headline: First playoff goal a winner for Preds