Two of the top four picks in this year's draft will be on display Friday, when the Colorado Avalanche host the Nashville Predators. Projected to be selected first overall, defenseman Seth Jones watched three other players take the stage before his name was called by Nashville. One of those players was Nathan MacKinnon, who Colorado grabbed with the top pick after winning the draft lottery.
Celebrating his 19th birthday, Jones was plus-2 and registered three shots on goal while receiving 18:35 of ice time in his NHL debut but was unable to help the Predators to victory as they dropped a 4-2 decision on the road to the St. Louis Blues in the season opener on Thursday. MacKinnon, however, played a significant role in the Avalanche's 6-1 home triumph over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday by recording a pair of assists. "I thought he was fantastic," Colorado coach Patrick Roy said. "And he is 18 years old, let's not forget that."
TV: 9 p.m. ET, FSN Tennessee (Nashville), Altitude (Colorado)
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (0-1-0): Pekka Rinne is likely to start Friday as he surely wants to erase the memory of Thursday's season opener in which he allowed three goals on six shots before being pulled just 9:45 into the first period. Carter Hutton replaced Rinne and made 21 saves in just his second NHL appearance. Nashville is eager to get home as it dropped to 5-15-5 on the road since the start of last season.
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (1-0-0): One aspect of the game on which MacKinnon needs to work is faceoffs, as he won only two of the 14 draws he took. "I was terrible in the faceoff circle, I know that," he said. "I think I was watching their sticks a little more than the ref's hand." Roy had quite a night in his coaching debut Wednesday, receiving a game misconduct and a $10,000 fine after engaging in a shouting match with Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau and pushing over the glass partition that separates the teams' benches.
1. Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog did not participate in practice Thursday due to a leg injury suffered in the season opener.
2. The Predators return to Nashville to begin a five-game homestand Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild.
3. Colorado RW Steve Downie made his presence felt after missing nearly the entire 2012-13 season with a knee injury, registering a goal, an assist and a fight in Wednesday's opener.
PREDICTION: Predators 3, Avalanche 2