If the season ended today, the Nashville Predators’ eight-year postseason streak would come to an end, but they still have 54 games to change that, beginning with Saturday’s showdown with the Colorado Avalanche, themselves a wild card team at the moment.
The Predators had a decent run of play in November, going 9-4, but October and the early part of December have been a veritable bloodbath, including six straight losses, including three by one goal, heading into this Central Division battle.
Filip Forsberg continues to pile up points – 22 in 21 games dating back to October 22 – but the Predators are not getting much production from beyond their top line.
The Avalanche will begin to get some of their injured players back in the coming weeks and they need them, having lost six of their last 10 games since Thanksgiving
The callups from the Colorado Eagles have not been able to fill the void effectively as 14 guys who have spent time with both clubs this season have a combined two goals and four assists in the NHL. Ten of the players have not produced a single point.
Colorado is +550 to win the Stanley Cup, while the Predators sit at +8000.
Let’s check the latest NHL odds, stats, injury reports, and NHL lines for Rangers vs Flyers. We’ve plenty of NHL betting odds for you to consider.
Goaltending allowing Predators to tread water
The Predators seem destined for a rebuild but one position that should be safe is in goal, where Juuse Saros and Kevin Lankinen have played as well as can be expected.
Saros has made more starts (21 to 7), but Lankinen has been the more effective netminder, posting a goals against average .82 points below expected, which ranks 12th in the NHL. Both players have given up roughly five fewer goals than expected.
Saros has lost his last four starts, including Thursday’s overtime affair against the Winnipeg Jets in which he allowed two goals on 41 shots, while surrendering 11 goals while Lankinen is 1-4 in his last five starts with 14 goals allowed.
“We have two really good goalies. They are going to give us a chance to win every single night,” center Mikael Granlund told the media. “It’s disappointing we couldnt get two points (against Winnipeg) for Juice the way he played.”
Scoop on Free Play from the Locker Room
Rodrigues scores in return for Avalanche
Evan Rodrigues returned from a nine-game absence due to a lower body injury to play and score a goal in the Avalanche’s 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres Thursday.
The center landed with the Avalanche after five seasons with the Sabres and three with the Pittsburgh Penguins and has had a solid season with 10 points in 19 games.
The 29-year-old has played only one full season in his career and that came last year with the Penguins, when he had career-highs in goals (19), assists (24) and points (43).
Rodrigues gets a lot of his production on the power play as 42.3% of his goals in the last two seasons and 30% in his career have come on the man advantage.
Predators vs Avalanche Game Injuries
Predators vs Avalanche Head-to-Head
The Avalanche earned a 5-3 victory in the first meeting with the Predators this season Nov. 10 as Logan O’Connor and Mikko Rantanen scored twice each.
Colorado has captured four straight and eight of the last 11 meetings with Nashville, but still trail 43-51-5 in the all-time series, including 24-25-2 at home.
Predators vs Avalanche Game Information
- Game: Predators (12-12-4) vs Avalanche (15-11-2)
- Location: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
- Day/Time: Saturday, Dec. 17, 9:00 p.m. ET
- Predators vs Avalanche Live Stream: NHL TV
Predators vs Avalanche Betting Lines
Predators vs Avalanche Prediction
The NHL lines are keen on the Avalanche, who are 6-3 against the Central Divsiion this season. Colorado is being offered at -180 on the money line. Over has cashed in eight of the last nine meetings of the Predators and Avalanche
Colorado is listed at -165 in our Las Vegas odds. This means that if you wager $100 on the Avalanche, you have a chance to win $61. Nashville is +145, offering a chance to win $145 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Colorado a 62.26% chance to win, with the Predators 40.82%.