Originally posted on Fox Sports Tennessee  |  Last updated 4/7/12
DENVER (AP) -- Backup Anders Lindback stopped 34 shots before leaving early in the final period after a collision and Patric Hornqvist scored his team-leading 27th goal to lift the playoff-bound Nashville Predators to a 6-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night in the regular-season finale for both teams. David Legwand, Craig Smith, Roman Josi, Brandon Yip and Matt Halischuk also had goals for Nashville, which clinched the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference before the game when Central Division rival Detroit lost to Chicago in a shootout. The Predators open the playoffs next week by hosting the Red Wings. Matt Duchene scored the lone goal for an Avalanche team that struggled down the stretch and missed the playoffs for a second straight season. With nothing to gain in the season finale, the Predators tried to give goaltender Pekka Rinne the night off and started Lindback, who did his best Rinne impersonation by turning in quite a few sensational saves. But barely two minutes into the third period Lindback took a hit from Cody McLeod as he scrambled back into the net. Lindback stayed down for a few minutes before trainers came out to check on him. He skated over to the bench and into the dressing room. Rinne entered the game and finished it off, stopping 10 shots. The Predators rested some of their regulars, including forwards Sergei Kostitsyn, Martin Erat and Mike Fisher. In all, the team benched a combined 65 goals, but it hardly mattered as their offense didn't miss a beat. Even more, this contest got some players back on track. Legwand scored his first goal in nine games, while Smith also ended a long scoring drought. Josi, a defenseman, even got into the act, sending a wrist shot past Jean-Sebastien Giguere for his first goal since Feb. 27. All told, 12 different Predators had at least a point. Kevin Klein and Smith each had two assists as the team tied a season high for goals in a game. Nashville finished with 104 points this season, marking the fourth time in franchise history the team has eclipsed the century barrier. But here's a first: The Predators finally finished ahead of Detroit in the division. Colorado was officially eliminated from postseason contention on Thursday night with a 5-2 loss to last-place Columbus. In contention down the stretch, the Avalanche dropped six of their last seven to seal their fate. They now head into the offseason with quite a few decisions to make. First and foremost, whether to bring back coach Joe Sacco, who's in the final year of his contract. The team may be saying farewell to captain Milan Hejduk. He's maintained for days that he's on the fence about returning for a 14th season. Just in case he doesn't return, the team recognized Hejduk, one of the last remaining links to the Stanley Cup days, by playing a video tribute in the first period. Hejduk ranks second in franchise history in games (991). He's also among the team's all-time leaders in goals (371), points (794) and assists (423). Yip scored a goal against his former team in the third period on a wraparound shot. It was his third goal of the season. Nashville kept relentless pressure on Giguere in the opening period and came away with three goals, including one by Hornqvist that just beat the horn. The officials took a long look on replay, before deciding that Hornqvist's redirect slipped past Giguere with less than a second remaining. Giguere was in net for the first time since March 15th. His long layoff was due to the stellar play of young Russian netminder Semyon Varlamov, who had a solid second half of the season. Varlamov went 11-6-1 in his last 18 starts with a 1.88 goals-against average. NOTES: The Avalanche gave D Shane O'Brien the night off, along with forwards Kevin Porter and Steve Downie. ... As part of "Fan Appreciation Night," Colorado players gave game-worn jerseys to selected patrons after the contest. ... Colorado finished 22-17-2 at Pepsi Center. ... Nashville was 4-0 against Colorado this season.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

NFLPA to investigate Tom Savage concussion

NFL signs $500 million deal with Verizon to stream games

Top takeaways from Sunday's Week 14 action

Jack Morris, Alan Trammell voted into Baseball Hall Of Fame

Dirk Koetter responds to report that he has not supported Jameis Winston

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Derek Carr takes full blame for weak Raiders performance

DeMarcus Lawrence blasts referees after Cowboys win

Cardinals, Luke Gregerson reportedly agreed to two-year deal

LeSean McCoy wins game with dash through snow in OT

Seahawks' Malik McDowell arrested for disorderly conduct

LaVar Ball draws massive crowd at BBB pop-up shop in NYC

Sports & Politics Intersect: When Olympic gold corrupts

The 'And the winner is...' quiz

NHL Weekender: Caps gain ground, Kings ready to rule?

The naughty and nice athletes list for 2017

Dissecting the road to the NFL postseason

The 'What's old is new again (but also still old)' quiz

The NFC playoffs will be loaded from top to bottom

NFL Week 14 predictions

Is this when Zach Werenski and the Blue Jackets really get their season going?

Joel Embiid and displacing fundamental truths

Eight NFL teams in desperation mode heading into Week 14

The 'More power to you (for the right price)' quiz

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

NFL Week 14 injury report

Sports & Politics Intersect: When Olympic gold corrupts

The best games of 2017

The naughty and nice athletes list for 2017

The 'And the winner is...' quiz

NHL Weekender: Caps gain ground, Kings ready to rule?

Dissecting the road to the NFL postseason

The 'What's old is new again (but also still old)' quiz

The NFC playoffs will be loaded from top to bottom

NFL Week 14 predictions

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker