Spilko's Monday NHL Playoffs Pick: Avalanche vs Predators with goal barrage expected to continue
The Colorado Avalanche will look to sweep the Nashville Predators after taking a commanding 3-0 series lead this past Saturday. Let’s dive into the top bet to target when Game 4 of the series rolls around on Monday night.
Game 4: Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators (Colorado leads series 3-0)
Colorado made easy work of Nashville the last time out on the road, scoring seven goals for the second time in three games. One game separates the Western Conference’s biggest threat from the second round of the NHL playoffs.
The Avalanche’s potent offense has been the difference-maker in this series and there’s no reason to believe that they will slow down their goal-scoring rate at any point. Colorado is averaging the third-most shots per game out of any playoff team so far with 46 shots per contest. Not to mention that Colorado’s power play, which was ranked in the top-seven in the regular season, is successfully scoring at a ridiculous 42.9% clip this series.
The Avalanche’s top producers are torching the Predators. Nashville has had no response for Colorado’s Cale Makar, Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. Makar has the most points out of any skater in the playoffs with seven points, while Landeskog, MacKinnon and Rantanen are all not too far behind that mark. Nashville’s inability to slow down Colorado’s stars should continue to be apparent, even in a win-or-go-home game for the hosts.
And while Colorado’s 5.33 goals per game in the postseason already foreshadows another high-scoring outing, the Avalanche’s goaltending situation come Game 4 should benefit Nashville’s offensive output as well.
Avalanche goalie Darcy Kuemper, who is in question to be available for the next game, was poked in the mask and left Game 3 with an apparent eye injury in the first period. Pavel Francouz took over the crease and finished off the contest with 18 saves off 20 shots. Francouz’s career in the playoffs leaves much to be desired despite the recent win. In seven total appearances, including Game 3, Francouz has amassed a 3-4 overall record with a 3.20 goals against average and a .893 save percentage.
Those totals are a far-cry from Kuemper’s 2022 playoff save percentage mark of .934.
Combine the Avalanche’s potent goal-scoring capabilities and a new goaltender possibly stepping in to face Nashville, another goal fest could be on the horizon.
The pick: Over 6.5 goals (-115)
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