Rittich surrendered five goals on 13 shots in 15:04 of ice time in Tuesday's 7-2 loss to the Avalanche in Game 1. The Avalanche's high-octane offense was far more than Rittich could handle. Connor Ingram stopped 30 of 32 shots in relief, which could see Rittich relegated to the backup role for Thursday's Game 2. Regardless of which goalie plays, the Avalanche score far too many goals to make either of them a good DFS option in what's expected to be a fairly quick series.
Rittich will get the starting nod on the road against Colorado for Game 1 on Tuesday, Brooks Bratten of the Predators' official site reports. Rittich will continue to deputize in goal for the Predators while Juuse Saros (lower body) remains sidelined for at least the first two games of the postseason. In his last five appearances, the Czech netminder went 1-0-2 with a disastrous 4.82 GAA and .875 save percentage. Unless Rittich can find another level in his game, Nashville might be too far behind in the series by the time Saros is cleared to play.
Rittich stopped 42 of 46 shots in Thursday's 5-4 shootout win over the Avalanche. The Predators battled back from an early deficit, and Rittich got better as the game went on. He made all three saves in the shootout to secure the win, his first since March 13. The 29-year-old is up to 6-3-4 with a 3.57 GAA and an .886 save percentage in 17 outings. Juuse Saros (lower body) may not be available to start the playoffs, so it's looking like Rittich could be the Predators' primary goalie going forward. Connor Ingram is expected to start Friday's regular-season finale versus the Coyotes.
Rittich will be between the pipes Thursday in Colorado, John Glennon of NHL.com reports. Rittich hasn't emerged victorious since March 13, a span of seven appearances that features an awful 4.67 GAA and .863 save percentage. Colorado's playoff seed is set, but Nashville could leapfrog Dallas and take over the first wild-card spot with a pair of victories, so the Predators should be plenty motivated in this one.
Rittich took over in the third period, allowing two goals on five shots in Tuesday's 5-4 loss to the Flames. Rittich entered the game late in the third period after Juuse Saros left with a lower-body injury. A last-second goal from Matthew Tkachuk tied the game before Elias Lindholm's overtime goal handed Rittich the loss. The 29-year-old goaltender is now 5-3-4 on the season with a .883 save percentage.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||37||19||11||4||2087||98||1||2.82||3||192.5|