Predators beat Avalanche 5-4 to take 2-0 series lead

Nashville Predators left wing Austin Watson (51) scores a goal against Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jonathan Bernier (45) during the third period in

Nashville Predators left wing Austin Watson (51) scores a goal against Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jonathan Bernier (45) during the third period in

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie (4) falls over Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35), of Finland, during the second period in Game 2

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie (4) falls over Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35), of Finland, during the second period in Game 2

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Ryan Hartman's empty-net goal with 1:09 left wound up the winner as the Nashville Predators held off the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 on Saturday for a 2-0 lead in their first-round Western Conference series.

After Hartman gave the Predators a 5-3 lead, Alexander Kerfoot pulled Colorado to 5-4 with 35.8 seconds left. But the Avalanche couldn't get another puck past goalie Pekka Rinne.

The Presidents' Trophy winners started slowly, giving up a goal on Colorado's first shot for a second straight game. Yet the Predators rallied again to take their first 2-0 lead when starting a best-of-seven series in their own building.

Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist, and Viktor Arvidsson, Ryan Johansen and Austin Watson scored a goal apiece. P.K. Subban and Mattias Ekholm each had two assists for Nashville, which has won 12 straight over the Avalanche. Rinne made 26 saves. Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist, and Gabriel Bourque and Gabriel Landeskog each added a goal for Colorado.

Game 3 is Monday night in Denver.

LIGHTNING 5, DEVILS 3

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Alex Killorn scored twice during a four-goal second period, helping Tampa Bay beat New Jersey for a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference series.

The Lightning scored three times in a 2:47 span in the second period, and the reeling Devils pulled goalie Keith Kinkaid after Killorn's third goal in two games made it 5-1 with 6:48 remaining in the period. Kinkaid, whose stellar play since January helped New Jersey finish strong and claim its first playoff berth since 2012, yielded five goals on 15 shots.

Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson also scored for Tampa Bay, which is up 2-0 in the series after going 0-2-1 against the Devils during the regular season.

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 41 shots, limiting the Devils to rookie Nico Hischier's unassisted goal in the opening period, Sami Vatanen's sixth career playoff goal late in the second, Blake Coleman's third-period tally that trimmed Tampa Bay's lead to 5-3 with eight minutes left.

Game 3 is Monday night in Newark, New Jersey.