DENVER — Nathan MacKinnon scored twice, including one as part of a three-goal first period and another to chase Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne from the game, and the Colorado Avalanche held off the Predators 5-3 in Game 3 on Monday night to pull to 2-1 in the first-round series.

Blake Comeau and Gabriel Bourque also scored in a furious opening period that revved up a pom-pom waving capacity crowd. Gabriel Landeskog was credited with an empty-net goal for the Avalanche, who snapped a 12-game skid against the Predators.

Game 4 is Wednesday in Denver.

For a third straight game in the series, Colorado scored first. This time, the Avs were able to make it hold up. MacKinnon and his teammates have been a different bunch at home this year. Their 28 home wins in the regular season was tied for the most in franchise history with the 2000-01 squad that hoisted the Stanley Cup.

MacKinnon’s goal at 4:25 of the second period gave Colorado a 4-0 lead and prompted the Predators to pull Rinne in favour of backup Juuse Saros. Rinne allowed four goals on 15 shots.

Jonathan Bernier stopped 29 shots on a night when the Avalanche finished 0 for 5 on the power play. Ryan Johansen had a second-period goal and Colton Sissons scored another in the third to make it 4-2. Saros was pulled for an extra skater with around 2:20 left and, moments later, Landeskog was credited with a goal after being dragged down on a breakaway. A sliding Landeskog was trying to get the puck over to MacKinnon.

Austin Watson scored late to make it 5-3 and led to a tense final minute.

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Source:: Sportsnet.ca

      

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