The Nashville Predators picked up a much needed 4-2 win over a desperate Colorado Avalanche team on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena.
Pekka Rinne was solid in goal in spite of seeing little rubber, stopping 15 of 17 shots in route to his franchise record setting 37th victory of the season. Semyon Varlamov took the loss, giving up three goals on 30 shots.
The Predators picked up goals from Mike Fisher, Brandon Yip, Sergei Kostitsyn, and finally an empty-netter from Marty Erat. The Avalanche scoring came from Jamie McGinn and Paul Stastny.
The win left Nashville with 85 points as they maintain their position in fifth place in the Western Conference, four behind Detroit, who they will play at home on Saturday night.
Make the jump for more detail from the game...At The Puck Drop...
In Goal: Semyon Varlamov (20-19-2, 2.65, .910) versus Pekka Rinne (36-14-7, 2.36, .925).
Scratches: Colorado - Ryan O'Byrne, Matt Duchene, Kevin Porter, Chuck Kobasew, and Tyson Barrie. Nashville - Kevin Klein, Craig Smith, Brian McGrattan, Colin Wilson, and Jack Hillen.First Period...
Colorado got off to a quick start at 1:14 on a play where the Predators successfully broke up an odd man rush and knocked the puck to the corner. David Jones corralled the puck and centered it to slot where McGinn put it into the net to give the Avs a 1-0 lead.
Fisher tied the game 1:40 later on a shot off of a drop pass from Shea Weber that he bounced off of a Avalanche defenseman. Ryan Suter picked up his 34th assist on the play.
Roman Josi fired a shot at the net that Yip tipped into the net at 6:58 to give the Predators a 2-1 lead. Josi and Gabriel Bourque were awarded assists on the goal. The goal was originally awarded to Yip, then switched to Josi, and then back to Yip.
Shane O'Brien was called for interference on Patric Hornqvist at 8:58. The Preds got a shot but no goal on the man-advantage
Erik Johnson was injured on a freak play as time expired in the period and did not return until the end of the second period.1st Period Goals Shots Corsi PIMs Faceoffs Avalanche
1 3 8 1-2:00 6-11 35%Predators
2 9 17 0-0:00 11-6 65%Second Period...
At 13:26, O'Brien was called for his second infraction of the evening when he hooked Sergei Kostitsyn. The Avalanche penalty kill held the Preds to no shots.
With 1:29 left, Jordin Tootoo and Cody McLeod squared off in a fight where Tootoo out-punched him but the much larger McLeod effected a take-down to end the scrap.
Sergei Kostitsyn scored with 32 seconds left to provide Goo-Goo's to the raucous Bridgestone Arena crowd. Matt Halischuk had the lone assist.
With time winding down, a major scrum broke out and Fisher and Steve Downie were each awarded two minute roughing penalties.2nd Period Goals Shots Corsi PIMs Faceoffs Avalanche
0 9 17 0-0:00 12-11 52%Predators
1 13 22 2-4:00 11-12 48%Third Period...
The Avalanche cut the Preds lead to one at 4:58 when Stastny slid into the slot and took a pass from Peter Mueller and slipped it past a host of gold jerseys that did not properly defend. McGinn picked up the secondary assist.
At 10:49, a Colorado shot by McLeod was reviewed but a close inspection showed that it hit the crossbar and did not find the net. After the review and the puck drop, Hornqvist was stoned by Varlamov on a point blank shot.
Tootoo was violently slashed by Johnson as time wound down but no call was made. Tootoo was in obvious distress when he returned to the bench.
The Avalanche had a pair of great scoring chances with under three minutes left in the contest. They continued to apply pressure as time wound down.
With 42.5 seconds left, Erat scored an empty net goal on a nice feed from Gaustad to secure the 4-2 win for the Predators.3rd Period Goals Shots Corsi PIMs Faceoffs Avalanche
0 5 15 0-0:00 12-12 50%Predators
1 9 15 0-0:00 12-12 50%Final...Final Goals Shots Corsi PIMs Faceoffs Avalanche
2 17 40 4-11:00 30-34 47%Predators
4 31 54 2-7:00 34-30 53%
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass