(Photo by: Michael Martin/Getty Images)
The Colorado Avalanche play spoiler and put a dagger in the hearts of the Nashville Predators as they won in overtime, 1-0. Nashville had significantly more chances than Colorado, outshooting them 34-24, but were unable to capitalize. Mainly that was because of Semyon Varlamov, who stood on his head the entire night to keep his team in the game.
“It is tough, they had good chances, but so did we,” said Nashville’s Paul Gaustad. “We’re not happy with just one point.”
Right now, the Predators are dire need of points and wins. Luckily, they were able to pick up a point, but they should’ve had two before leaving the Pepsi Center. This one may come back to haunt them as Nashville should have easily beat the worst team in the Western Conference. It wasn’t the case Saturday afternoon though.
The first period was quite different than what occurred in Nashville’s last game against the Coyotes, where there were a total of nine goals scored. In this game, none were scored because of Semyon Varlamov and Pekka Rinne, who both stood on their heads for their team.
Varlamov made three huge saves to keep his team in the game. His first one came on Kevin Klein as he robbed the defenseman of a sure goal with his glove. Then on the penalty kill, Martin Erat had a wide open net, but Varlamov went cross-crease to his left and shut the door. Later on, Matt Halischuk fed Paul Gaustad crashing the net on the breakout, but Gaustad’s redirection was stopped by Varlamov challenging the Predator.
It was Rinne’s time to shine as just before the period ended, he went from left to right in his crease to make the save on Matt Duchene during a 2-on-1 attack.
Before all this happened, Rich Clune and Cody McLeod set the tone early by dropping the gloves. Clune was able to get the most out of McLeod, despite being shadowed over.
Milan Hejduk left the 9:03 in after Craig Smith knocked him out from under his feet going for the loose puck near the Colorado bench. Hejduk slowly recovered to his feet and went straight down the tunnel, but did not return.
The first and second periods were almost mirrored to each other. Both teams had good chances to score, but were unable to capitalize. Colorado had a few good chances to score, but the shots did not go on net. For Nashville, they were forced to the outside and didn’t produce too many quality chances. Except for when Varlamov made a leg extending save on Gabriel Bourque while on the power play in the final minutes of the second.
Despite their best chances, both teams went back to the dressing room without a goal.
17:37 in the second, Brandon Yip went to the dressing room bleeding after being high-sticked in the face by Ryan O’Byrne. Yip drew a double minor, but the Preds were unsuccessful in capitalizing. The Nashville forward did return to start the third.
After a scoreless third period, despite the bountiful chances to score, the game went to overtime.
Just fifty seconds into overtime, Tyson Barrie ends the game with a goal. Greg Zanon’s shot from the point left a rebound for Barrie, who easily put the puck home. Colorado won the game, 1-0 in overtime.
Line Up Report
#35 Pekka Rinne
#1 Semyon Varlamov
Predators Scratches: #12 C Mike Fisher (hand), #17 C Chris Mueller and #19 W Bobby Butler
Avalanche Scratches: #5 D Shane O’Brien, #26 Paul Stastny (knee) and #54 W David Jones
Smith, Gaustad return: Craig Smith and Paul Gaustad returned to the lineup Saturday afternoon in the Preds’ loss. Gaustad played on the first line with Sergei Kostitsyn and Martin Erat in replacement of Mike Fisher, who suffered a hand injury blocking a shot in the final minutes of Thursday’s game against the Coyotes.
“It felt good to be back out on the ice and skate on the guys,” said Gaustad. “The mile high air didn’t help out too much, but it felt good to be back out there.”
In his first game back after being removed from injured reserve, Trotz gave him a good amount of ice time—17:35. His line was buzzing all night, but were unable to score.
Craig Smith centered a line with Patric Hornqvist and Rich Clune, a new line Trotz put together for his return. Smith totaled 14:30 of ice time.
Goals and Assists
1-0 COL: Tyson Barrie – Zanon and Parenteau at 0:50 in OT
My Three Stars of the Game
1. Semyon Varlamov: Shutout, 34 Saves
2. Tyson Barrie: GWG
3. Pekka Rinne: 23 Saves on 24 Shots