Critically, Colton Sissons. What did we ever do to you?
The Avalanche landed on the improper finish of a Sissons hat trick and a kidney punch by the hands of the Central Division-leading Nashville Predators — once more — late Wednesday night time on the Pepsi Middle in a 4-1 defeat.
Sissons’ hat trick — his sixth, seventh and eighth objectives scored in simply 10 profession video games in opposition to the Avalanche — spoiled a power-play purpose by Matt Calvert and the Avs’ first tilt on residence ice in almost two weeks.
The Avs (7-5-3, 17 factors) dropped their fourth contest in a row and slipped seven factors behind Nashville (12-3-0, 24 factors), winner of 4 straight. The hosts have misplaced 5 of their final six after a 6-1-2 begin.
And this one was particularly deflating, given the context, the 0-Three highway journey that preceded it, and the opponent.
Oh, and a pair residence objectives that have been disallowed after video evaluation — the final one off the stick of Colin Wilson on the 7:39 mark of the third interval with the Avs making an attempt to trim a two-score deficit.
There was no love misplaced on the ice — or within the stands — for the Preds, who gained all 4 of the matchups between the division rivals final season and knocked the Avs out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs final spring.
Sissons plunged the dagger with two first-period objectives. However it was his third — off an influence play with three seconds left within the second interval that pushed the Nashville result in 3-1 — that twisted the knife, cinching his second profession hat trick.
The Preds’ man benefit on the finish of the second, the results of a slashing penalty on winger Mikko Rantanen, got here on the tail finish of a interval that noticed the hosts get extra aggressive — and bodily — regardless of being outshot, 29-17, by way of the sport’s first 40 minutes.
The group obtained mighty chippy, too, after one residence purpose within the stanza was disallowed and one other — a nifty deflection on the facility play 7:08 into the stanza by Calvert, his first of the season — almost met the identical destiny.
The purpose was almost waved off for top sticking however was reinstated after officers huddled as much as give a re-assessment and the stressed natives exhaled and roared with delight.
It was the Avs’ first recreation at Pepsi Middle since a 6-Three win over Ottawa on Oct. 26 and their first contest in 5 days. However it was the hosts who regarded as if they’d the heavier legs early on because the Preds took a 2-Zero lead late within the first interval.
Nashville struck first on the 13:39 mark of opening stanza when Sissons, tenting on the precise aspect of the crease, tapped the puck previous Seymon Varlamov off a feed from Nick Bonino.
Sissons struck once more virtually 4 minutes in a while a laser from the precise circle at 17:21 to double the benefit. That was Vancouver, British Columbia, native’s seventh profession purpose, lifetime, in opposition to the Avs. The Preds heart has 26 profession objectives in 205 NHL video games, and 30.7 p.c — virtually a 3rd — have come in opposition to the Avalanche.
Ian Cole’s slap shot for a purpose re-energized the Pepsi Middle trustworthy with 18:31 to go within the second interval, however Nashville coach Peter Laviolette challenged it. Replays confirmed that fellow defenseman Sam Girard was offside on a spin transfer on the blue line earlier than the purpose was scored, preserving the shutout and sending the hosts again to the drafting board.