Forward Matt Duchene called for the Nashville Predators to stand up to the Colorado Avalanche in their First Round Eastern Conference series after suffering a 7-2 defeat in game one on Tuesday.
(This article was originally published on 05.05.2022)
The Predators, 80/1 to win the Stanley Cup in 2021/22, had two goals from Duchene in the loss which saw netminder David Rittich chased from the net after allowing five goals on 13 shots.
Nashville were forced to fight all the way to the end in the regular season to earn the second Wild Card spot into the playoffs from the Western Conference (45-30-7). Colorado entered the playoffs more comfortably winning the Central Division with a 56-19-7 record.
The Predators did however enjoy success against the higher-seeds winning three of their four meetings in the regular season (3-1-0)
31-year-old Duchene led Nashville for goals in the regular season (43) and his 86 total points were second to Norris Trophy candidate Roman Josi (96).
The 5'11" centre was originally drafted by opponents Colorado with the third-overall pick of the 2009 draft. He spent nine seasons with the Avalanche before being traded in 2017.
In 2019, Duchene found his way to Nashville signing a seven-year contract worth $56million.
The Predators were without number-one goalie Juuse Saros in game one with a lower-body injury. He will also be unavailable for game two which is in Colorado on Thursday.
Duchene said to the media: "We have a lot of character and we've got a lot of great leadership. We're tight, and we're a family first. This is probably one of, if not the tightest team I've ever been on, and we have a lot more pride than what we showed tonight...That's a team over there that wants to win the Stanley Cup and believes they can, and we have to stand in there a lot better."