Cardinals vs Cubs

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As the Chicago Cubs work toward establishing more consistency in what has been a sluggish start, manager Joe Maddon firmly believes it’s just a matter of time before his starting rotation finds its footing.Cubs starters have routinely put pressure on the bullpen by struggling to work deep into games. But as the Cubs welcome their National League Central rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, to Wrigley Field for a three-game series starting Monday, Maddon is remaining patient.Tyler Chatwood will start Monday against the Cardinals after his scheduled start Sunday against Atlanta was postponed because of inclement weather. Chatwood (0-2, 4.91 ERA) is seeking his first win with the Cubs after he dropped his first two outings against the Cincinnati Reds and the Milwaukee Brewers.

Chatwood, who won 20 games in the past two seasons with the Colorado Rockies, signed a three-year, $38 million contract with the Cubs in the offseason. Chatwood is 0-2 in four career appearances (one start) against St. Louis.Chatwood has pitched at least five innings in his first two starts. On Monday, he hopes to improve on the effort of fellow starter Jose Quintana, who allowed seven runs in 2 1/3 innings in Saturday’s 14-10 come-from-behind Cubs victory over the Braves.We haven’t gotten any depth (from starters),” Maddon said Saturday. “We’re surviving it and I look at that as a positive because they’re so good and they’re going to turn it on and they’re going to get on a nice little roll.”

The Cubs are also expected to welcome All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo back from the 10-day disabled list. Rizzo has been out with back tightness, but Maddon said twice during the weekend that he expects Rizzo to be healthy enough to play starting Monday.The Cardinals, who will enter this week’s series fresh off a sweep of Cincinnati after Sunday’s 3-2 victory over the Reds, also expect to be getting healthier as they face the Cubs.Infielder Jedd Gyorko and reliever Luke Gregerson could rejoin the Cardinals this week, manager Mike Matheny told reporters on Saturday.

Gyorko has been out with a right hamstring strain and has been playing in extended spring training games recently in Florida. Gregerson suffered a strained left hamstring during the final week of spring training and recently made his fourth minor league rehabilitation appearance on April 13, according to MLB.com.“We’re still figuring out the exact details, but (Gyorko) might be back here sooner rather than later,” Matheny told reporters on Saturday.Adam Wainwright (0-2, 5.06 ERA) will start for the Cardinals. He is coming off a strong seven-inning effort in which he struck out four and didn’t allow a walk while scattering eight hits against Milwaukee. Wainwright is 14-9 with a 4.03 ERA in 34 career starts against the Cubs.

Wainwright, who is in the final year of his contract at age 36, demonstrated in his most recent start that he’s capable of helping the Cardinals move in the right direction.“That’s how I pitched all spring training,” Wainwright told reporters after his start against the Brewers on April 11. “(The first start of the year) was the anomaly — not this one. I expect to go out and carry us deep into games.”So Maddon will count on Anthony Rizzo to tell him how he is feeling Monday when the All-Star first baseman is scheduled to return after a 10-day disabled-list stint for back soreness.

With the Cardinals in town, the Cubs would love to get Rizzo’s bat back in the lineup.But here’s a potential problem: Monday night’s game-time temperature is projected to be 34 degrees, with a strong breeze from the west making for a wind chill of 24.“If he’s ready to roll, we’ll probably play him,” Maddon said. “But we’ll keep an eye on him. Does he need to be brought back into it slowly? I’m not sure.“He’s feeling really good. I watched him work out in the gym and he looks fine. I trust the guys and ask them questions. When the guys are honest with you, it makes the decision-making so much easier.”

Rizzo has yet to get going. He’s 3-for-28 with one homer, one walk and seven strikeouts.On the rubber: The Cubs will slide their rotation back a day after Sunday’s postponement, meaning Tyler Chatwood, Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks will face the Cardinals. Yu Darvish gets a bonus rest day but has to take on the Rockies on Friday at Coors Field.The Cardinals (9-7) exited Cincinnati on Sunday after a four-game sweep. First baseman Jose Martinez already has 15 RBIs and outfielder Tommy Pham has a .429 on-base percentage. Dexter Fowler, now playing right field but still leading off, is hitting just .183 with only one stolen base.

A day for Jackie: The Cubs will reschedule Jackie Robinson Day at Wrigley Field to give thanks to the pioneer who wore No. 42.“He added so much life to the game,” Maddon said. “I think people showed up just to see him play. Regardless of skin color, he was just a good, energetic, entertaining baseball player.”Maddon said he wishes he could have met Robinson after learning about him from Don Zimmer, Al Campanis and Preston Gomez.

Extra innings: Cubs batters have been hit by a pitch 15 times in their first 14 games, a major-league high. The White Sox are second at 13. Kris Bryant leads baseball after getting plunked five times. … Cubs catchers Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini have wiped out four of seven would-be base-stealers, the best percentage in MLB. … Bryant and Freddie Freeman of the Braves are tied for the NL lead with a .493 on-base percentage.CHICAGO — Who’s the favorite to win the National League Central? The Cubs and Cardinals will square off Monday night, and each will try to gain an edge in the division.

Last year, the Cubs dominated the series, 14-5, including an 8-1 mark at Wrigley Field.”We played a lot of tight games last year and it came down to who is going to get the big hit?” Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong said. “Everyone is always really excited to play in this rivalry.”Remembering those experiences and learning from them and trying to use those experiences will help us this year, because this division is more up for grabs,” DeJong said. “You can see that from the beginning. There is no clear team right now. These games are huge for us. We have to come out ready to play.”

Tyler Chatwood was scheduled to start Sunday vs. the Braves, but that game was postponed because of the weather, so the right-hander will start Monday for the Cubs against the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright.For Wainwright, this will be his 35th career start against the Cubs and 19th at Wrigley Field, where he’s 10-2 with a 3.79 ERA.

Rangers vs Rays

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A pair of American League teams off to disappointing starts kick off a series in the Sunshine State. The Texas Rangers play the first of three against the Tampa Bay Rays Monday night. Texas played the rubber game of their three-game series on the road against the Astros Sunday: they rallied for a 6-5, 10 inning win in Saturday’s second game of the series. Tampa Bay finished a three-game interleague set with the Phillies at home Sunday hoping to avoid a sweep after getting hammered 9-4 Saturday evening. The Rangers took the season series last year, 4-2, sweeping a three-game set at Tropicana Field July 21-23, 2017.

Texas Rangers Look to Earn Road Win in Series Opener
Texas managed to dig out of a hole to stun the Astros in the middle game of the series Saturday to set up a rubber game Sunday afternoon. The Rangers entered that contest 5-11 on the year and eight games behind the Angels in the AL West. Texas trailed 5-0 after four innings but tied the game with three in the eighth before winning in the 10th inning. Jurickson Profar (two runs), Joey Gallo (run, two RBI), Adrian Beltre (run, RBI), Ronald Guzman (run, two RBI) and Ryan Rua each had two hits for the Rangers. Beltre (his first), Guzman (his first), Gallo (his fifth) and Isiah Kiner-Falafel (his first) all homered for Texas. Mike Minor recorded a no-decision as he allowed five runs on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts in five innings. Keone Kela (1-0) worked the ninth to earn the win while Alex Claudio got the final out for his first save.

Martin Perez gets the ball for his third start of the season for the Rangers in this contest. He is 1-1 with an 11.88 ERA, a 2.76 WHIP, four walks and three strikeouts over 8.1 innings of work. Perez was roughed up and took the loss in his last start, which came Tuesday at home against the Angels. He allowed eight runs on nine hits with four walks and two strikeouts in three innings of work as the Rangers were hammered 11-1. Perez makes his seventh career appearance and sixth start against the Rays in this contest looking for his first win. He is 0-2 with a 5.93 ERA, a 1.615 WHIP, nine walks and 22 strikeouts over 30.1 innings of work. Perez is 1-1 with a 5.00 ERA, a 1.444 WHIP, six walks and 12 strikeouts over 18 innings in three career appearances, two starts, at Tropicana Field.

Tampa Bay Rays Continuing to Struggle in All Facets
Tampa Bay continued to flounder as they dropped the first two games of their series at home against the Phillies after Saturday’s drubbing. The Rays entered Sunday 3-11 and already nine games behind the Red Sox in the AL East standings. Tampa Bay never led as they trailed 6-0 after one and a half innings. Mallex Smith (run) and Kevin Kiermaier (two runs) each had two hits for the Rays while C.J. Cron drove in a pair of runs. Matt Duffy and Adeiny Hechevarria drove in the other runs for Tampa Bay. Chris Archer (1-1) took the loss as he allowed seven runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts over four innings of work.

Blake Snell makes his fourth start of the season for Tampa Bay here. He is 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP, 10 walks and 17 strikeouts over 15 innings of work this season. Snell earned his first win of the season in his last start, which came Tuesday on the road against the White Sox. He threw six innings, allowing one run on one hit with five walks and 10 strikeouts in a game the Rays hung on to win 6-5. Snell, in his 47th career major league start, faces the Rangers for the first time. He is 8-7 with a 3.10 ERA, a 1.319 WHIP, 56 walks and 121 strikeouts over 116 innings in 21 career starts at Tropicana Field.

Spurs vs Warriors

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The Golden State Warriors stormed past the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of their NBA playoff matchup, 113-92, in a game that never felt particularly close. The Spurs were without Kawhi Leonard as they have been for most of the season, and it showed. The Warriors won’t get Steph Curry back likely until the second round, but the rest of their stars have made it clear that they can live without him for now.

JaVale McGee scored 10 of his 15 points in the first half, with most of that production coming in the opening quarter. Head coach Steve Kerr made a bizarre decision to start McGee along with Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala, though that lineup had played 0 minutes together in their careers. It worked anyway.

Going with a long-armed lineup, the Spurs had trouble finding space to launch from deep. Even worse for them, Golden State trapped LaMarcus Aldridge on the catch and flustered his offensive routine. He had just 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting. The team struggled to find answers without Leonard on the floor.

Meanwhile, Golden State rolled. Kevin Durant was the playmaker the Warriors needed without Curry on the floor. He had 24 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists. Thompson was on fire all game, shooting 11-of-13 from the floor for 27 points. Green had 12 points, eight rebounds, and 11 assists as well.

For San Antonio to recover in Game 2, it’ll need to find ways to counter Kevon Looney’s, McGee’s and Green’s swarming defense on their offensive star, Aldridge. There aren’t enough pieces to get the job done without him at 110 percent.

No, I’m not talking about the Warriors losing ten of their last seventeen games – I’m talking about the recent game results against the Spurs. After sweeping past them in the playoffs last year, the Warriors handled the Spurs during the regular season as well, taking the season series 3-1. That lone loss came in a game that Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Stephen Curry all missed – and Draymond Green departed in the first half after taking a hard knee to the “pelvic area.”

Yeah, the Warriors are going to be playing the entire series without Steph Curry – in spite of recent wishful rumblings. But so too will the Spurs be playing without their best player. Kawhi Leonard didn’t just play in the four games against the Warriors – he hasn’t really played all season! He played in only nine games all year, and none since January, so no matter what, the Spurs are coming into this series just as hamstrung on paper as the Warriors are – perhaps even more so.

Get live playoff updates, news and analysis on Saturday at noon as the Warriors begin their postseason with Game 1 against the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle.
The Warriors (58-24) will look to flip the switch to playoff mode while hoping to continue their recent success against the Spurs (47-35), who were beaten three of four times by Golden State this season. San Antonio was swept by the Warriors in last year’s Western Conference Finals and will try to turn things around without its best player, Kawhi Leonard (right quad), who is not expected to play in the series.

San Antonio, which saw its 18-year streak of winning at least 50 regular-season games come to an end, comes into play Saturday having lost five of its last nine. The Spurs won’t have to deal with Stephen Curry (MCL strain), who hopes to get back on the court during the semifinals, should Golden State prevail.

San Antonio vs Golden State

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OAKLAND, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs are both hoping that history repeats itself when they meet in Game 2 of the Western Conference playoffs on Monday night.

The second-seeded Warriors thumped the seventh-seeded Spurs 113-92 in the series opener on Saturday afternoon, putting both teams in a familiar position.

Golden State used a home win in Game 1 as a springboard to a four-game sweep of the Spurs in the Western Conference finals last season.

San Antonio, meanwhile, was drubbed 126-99 in Game 1 of the Western semifinals by the Houston Rockets last May, only to turn things around immediately with an equally decisive 121-96 blitz in Game 2 en route to an eventual six-game victory in the series.

“We’ve got to regroup, feel hurt, upset, kind of desperate,” Spurs veteran Manu Ginobili said after Saturday’s shellacking. “We don’t want to go home 0-2. So we’ll fight as hard as we can in Game 2.”

After leading the NBA in scoring during a 58-win regular season, the Warriors focused on defense in Game 1 of the postseason. Coach Steve Kerr moved super-sub Andre Iguodala into the starting lineup in an attempt to give the game a defensive tone from the start.

It worked. The Spurs shot just 35 percent in the first quarter and were held to 17 points, falling behind by as many as 14 points.

“The whole point of these games early in the series is to re-establish our defense,” Kerr explained. “You can’t win in this league in the playoffs unless you defend.”

The Spurs finished the game at 40.0 percent from the field. The Warriors held five opponents below 100 in the playoffs last season and won all five of those games.

The Golden State defense was especially problematic to San Antonio star LaMarcus Aldridge, who was held to 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting.

Coincidentally, Aldridge also shot 5 of 12 in the Spurs’ regular-season finale against New Orleans, a loss that dropped San Antonio into the undesirable first-round matchup with the defending champs. Aldridge averaged 23.1 points and 18.0 shots from the field during the regular season.

JaVale McGee had the defensive assignment on Aldridge at the start of the game and actually outscored him 9-4 in the Warriors’ first-quarter runaway.

Kerr declared afterward that McGee also would get the start in Game 2, but Spurs coach Gregg Popovich wasn’t committing to anything on his end.

Kerr switched to Pau Gasol at center in the Spurs’ turnaround against the Rockets last season, a move he also could make Monday, with the veteran having come off the bench in Game 1.

Popovich made it clear after Saturday’s loss that no one player was more responsible for the Game 1 embarrassment than any other.

“The first quarter, we looked like a deer in the headlights. Very disappointing,” he said. “I thought we were very prepared physically and mentally, but I was mistaken. That was the game right there.” The series will shift to San Antonio for Games 3 and 4 on Thursday and next Sunday.

“The whole point of these games early in the series is to re-establish our defense,” Kerr explained. “You can’t win in this league in the playoffs unless you defend.”

Heat vs 76ers

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The young Philadelphia 76ers sure didn’t look the part in Game 1 vs. the Miami Heat. They took their homecourt advantage in stride as the East’s No. 3 seed and made clear to the No. 6 Heat that there won’t be anything setting back this hot team.

This is going to be an interesting style difference. The 76ers are a fast defensive-minded team, while the Heat are a more grind-it-out-style team. And the 76ers are leaning on only a couple veterans with postseason experience, while the Heat are almost entirely postseason-tested. This series could be decided by whoever can control the pace on the floor, and, of course, Joel Embiid’s status will also be a major factor.

If the 76ers can carry their momentum from the regular season into the playoffs, then they’re going to be a dangerous team in the playoffs. They finished the regular season on a 16 game win streak. Embiid, if healthy, and Simmons are one of the NBA’s most dynamic duos. They have the third-best defense and fourth-best net rating in the NBA. They’re an easy favorite.

The Heat haven’t always been consistent, but their depth gives them a lot of versatility. Miami can gain an advantage if they control the pace, forcing Philadelphia to play slow, and use their bench as an advantage. A lot of teams shorten up their rotation in the playoffs. The Heat doesn’t have to do that. They can adjust to whatever Philadelphia is running and counter that.

According to SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh, the 76ers have a 14.3 percent chance to win the conference and a 3.8 percent chance to win it all. The Heat, on the other hand, has 1.2 percent chance to win the conference and a 0.5 percent chance to win the Finals. SportsLine will have game-by-game gambling advice for every playoff series here.

The Philadelphia 76ers, riding a historic 16-game win streak, host the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA playoffs Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. The Sixers are seven-point favorites at home, while the over-under, or total points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 212, up two from the opening line.

Before picking either side, you need to read what SportsLine senior analyst Larry Hartstein — who has put together a sizzling run of his own — has to say.

The veteran NBA handicapper is on an epic hot streak when it comes to picking games involving the Heat, nailing 11 of 13 picks for a ridiculous 85 percent payout rate.

On Wednesday, the final day of the regular season, he nailed Miami (-4.5) against the Raptors, a 116-109 Heat victory. He also took Philly (-6.5) in a 130-95 trouncing of Milwaukee to secure the No. 3 seed.

Hartstein has examined every matchup, every player and every trend for Saturday’s showdown and locked in his pick.

He knows the 76ers have more momentum than any team entering the NBA playoffs — ever. The 76ers have won 16 straight, the longest win streak going into the playoffs in NBA history.

They’ll be without star center Joel Embiid for Game 1, but he missed the previous eight games, and Philly won them all. Ben Simmons has certainly been doing his part during this stretch, with five triple-doubles.

Miami, the No. 6 seed, has reason to be confident. The Heat split with the Sixers 2-2 during the regular season, each team winning its games at home. Oddly, Miami had a different leading scorer in each game — Kelly Olynyk, James Johnson, Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside.

None of those players is named Goran Dragic, the team’s leading scorer at 17.3 points per game, who is expected to be fully recovered from a knee injury that has cost him games down the stretch.

In Heat wins, they held Simmons to 10.5 ppg. In Sixers wins, Simmons averaged 19. Against the spread, Miami is just 2-5 in its past seven. Philly is 11-3 but has failed to cover in three of four. Hartstein says the line in this game isn’t where it should be. He’s sharing why, and who to back, at SportsLine.

Miami vs Philadelphia

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Welcome all, thank you for joining us at Inside the ACC for my favorite time of the year, the NBA’s silly season. Two months of pure joy. Something to look forward to every day and this weekend typifies the excitement with eight games spread out over two days. I will be examining the NBA playoffs through the ACC players on each playoff roster. We will post these in order throughout day one and day two of the playoffs. Please check back in periodically throughout and check out all 8 of them. Comment and tell me all the reasons I am wrong.

Teams split season series 2-2, with all but one being decided by under six points.

To be brutally honest, while I appreciate the pragmatism that accompanies The Process, I’m kind of sad that it is working out in the end. If only because too many other teams have begun to incorporate various tenets of the process into their own rebuilding schemes. Tanking is a very real problem right now. There is no need to begin mailing games in at mid-season if this isn’t the year for your team. Even more amazing, having read a Deadspin article on the Dallas finale vs Phoenix, I’m at a disconnect with why fans would continue to pay for seats for this. There needs to be some incentive for clubs to put their best on the floor and try to win games every night. Maybe go old school minor league baseball and dividing the season into halves somehow might be. The Carolina League had it right all along!

Embiid is hurt with a broken face. Dario Saric also lost some teeth and had a DNP-Lips designation in the last box score. So…many…jokes….there…none of them appropriate. This Sixers team doesn’t know any other way, they play hard every game, are coached well every game. They could easily come out of the East, and seal the deal on any LeBron proceedings. He will be a Sixer, there is no compelling reason not to join them.

JJ Redick (Duke) has recreated himself as a mentor in Philadelphia and gathered more respect from his colleagues year over year after arriving in Orlando as mostly a bust. He is a UFA this offseason, and the Sixers would be wise to keep him, but not at his current $23M price tag. I’m not sure that a player on the wrong side of 30 (he is 33) is in position to make demands for an increase, and the Sixers will be looking to shed as much salary as possible to fete Lebron with.

Redick has picked up a lot of the offense Embiid took with him to the DL, scoring 20 regularly with some nice outbursts in the last two weeks, scoring 25+ three times, while trying to integrate the extremely late Markelle Fultz into the lineup. He almost registered for the 50/40/90 club, falling just short on his FG%. His three-pointers dominated those attempts, and where I’m from, 42% three is tantamount to 63% from two. Better than the goliaths Wilt and Shaq could put up dunking on fools.

If he happens to depart, it may be due in part to management feeling that Justin Anderson (Virginia) is a viable replacement. He scored 25 in a meaningless season finale but had some injury concerns dating back to last year. His D is better than JJ’s, but his 3 was still only 33%, or a little lower than you’d want a starter to produce. JJ would be the best fit for this team moving forward, and maybe the Sixers will stray over the cap to retain him. Just so long as they avoid the repeater tax, and they should because Lebron will likely move on like a museum exhibit moving from city to city.

It’s the first playoff game since the Iverson era, and the building will be lit. A whole generation of kids became adolescents waiting for a sign of life. Can they handle the pressure, the Heat? If Embiid returns soon, the team can win going away. If not, the Heat can hang around. It’s that simple.

Miami loves itself some ACC and has four players: Wayne Ellington (UNC), James Johnson (Wake Forest), Dion Waiters (Syracuse), Justise Winslow (Duke). Waiters are out after ankle surgery.

NHL Playoff 2018 Live

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Watch Maple Leafs vs Bruins  NHL’s hottest team. Many are picking them to be the Stanley Cup favorite. They begin their long journey to their first title on Thursday night against the Colorado Avalanche. This will be the first game of the NHL Playoffs 2018 for both teams. The game will be held at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Puck drop is scheduled at 9:30 p.m. ET (8:30 p.m. CT).

Nashville comes into the postseason as the President’s Trophy winners. No, there is no such thing as a curse. They’re an insanely deep team, as you could argue they have two top forward lines. Even their third forward line is pretty outstanding, even without underrated cog Calle Jarnkrok.

Of course, the Preds also have one of the best bluelines in the NHL. They are active all over the ice and they love to jump up in the offensive zone. P.K. Subban and Roman Josi lead arguably the NHL’s most talented group of defensemen. And guarding the net, Nashville has star goaltender Pekka Rinne. Many pundits believe he will win the 2017-18 Vezina Trophy, which goes to the NHL’s best goaltender.

On the other side of the ice, the Avalanche were the worst team in the NHL last season. Not only that, their point total set a salary cap era record of futility. About 12 months later, Colorado is in the playoffs.

They did it in large part thanks to a Hart Trophy caliber performance from star center Nathan MacKinnon. He, Gabriel Landeskog, and Mikko Rantanen form one of the most productive lines in the NHL.

The Avalanche have one of the league’s most deadly power plays. Meanwhile, the Preds are known for committing penalties. This could be a very interesting combination. However, Nashville holds the advantage in virtually every category.

Meanwhile, Columbus has been scorching hot. They are led by Artemi Panarin, Cam Atkinson, Seth Jones, and reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky. The Jackets outshot the Caps in each of their four meetings this season. They’ve been on a roll lately, especially on offense. But will it be enough to get them their first postseason series victory in franchise history?

The Colorado Avalanche are matched up with the Nashville Predators in the first round of the 2018 NHL playoffs. The Predators finished the season atop the Central Division, finishing off 53-18-11 campaign with 117 points. A few spot down in the division, the Avalanche finished the year with a 43-30-9 record and 95 points.

What happened during the regular season?
In the four meetings of the Avalanche and Predators during the 2017-18 regular season, Nashville swept the overall series, 4-0, outscoring Colorado 17-8 during the run. The Predators have gone undefeated against the Avs two seasons in a row.

Who are the key players?
Nathan MacKinnon will be a key player for the Predators to stop if they want to contain the Avs’ top line. In his last 25 games, MacKinnon notched 15 goals, 21 assists, and 120 shots. Playing alongside Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog, he will make things difficult for the Predators.

On the other side of the ice, Filip Forsberg led the Nashville team in scoring with 26 goals, 38 assists and 64 points, leading the Nashville team in scoring. Just behind him, is another high-end winger, Viktor Arvidsson, who led the Predators in goals (29) in addition to 32 assists and 61 points.

What is the Avalanche vs. Predators schedule?
Game 1: Predators 5, Avalanche 2
Game 2: Predators 5, Avalanche 4
Game 3: Mon. Apr. 16, 10 p.m. ET — NBCSN | Stream
Game 4: Wed. Apr. 18, 10 p.m. ET — NBCSN | Stream
Game 5: Fri. Apr. 20, TBD | If needed
Game 6: Sun. Apr. 22, TBD | If needed
Game 7: Tues. Apr. 24, TBD | If needed

Any playoff history?
After being one of the NHL’s worst teams in 2016-17, the Avalanche returned to the postseason for the first time in three years. Colorado may have been the last team to earn a playoff bid, but it is looking to stand in the way of the Predators making a back-to-back run to the Stanley Cup Finals. It’ll be an uphill battle against the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Nashville squad, who have their sights set on avenging their loss in the finals last season to Pittsburgh.