Avalanche falls in Nashville to Predators, 3-1
AP Sports Writer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – David Legwand scored with 1:14 left, and the Nashville Predators edged Colorado 3-1 Tuesday night to avoid being swept by the Avalanche.
Patric Hornqvist scored a power-play goal that tied it up at 1 at 8:23 of the third, and Taylor Beck had two assists. Paul Gaustad had an empty-netter for his third this season with 14.7 seconds remaining.
Matt Duchene scored on a breakaway 61 seconds into the third for Colorado, which missed a chance to sweep the Predators for the first time in franchise history. Goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 35 saves in giving the Avalanche a chance at their second win over Nashville in four days and just their third road win this season.
Colorado won the first two games in Denver in ending Nashville’s recent dominance over the Avalanche in this series.
But the Predators outshot them 18-10 in the third period to pull out a win Nashville needs to keep hope alive at an eighth playoff berth in nine years.
Duchene scored Colorado’s lone goal when he got the puck just inside his own blue line, skated past at least three Predators and beat goalie Pekka Rinne with a wrister 61 seconds into the third.
That’s when Nashville started throwing even more pucks at Giguere. Hornqvist tied it up with a power-play goal after Brad Malone went to the box for high-sticking at 8:01, and Hornqvist scored 22 seconds later as he poked his stick at the puck through a scrum in front of the goal. Nashville fans gave the Predators a standing ovation late in the period.
Legwand fought for the puck off a faceoff, got it from Beck before skating around and throwing a shot at Giguere. Legwand then scored off his own rebound, beating Giguere between the legs with 1:14 left. Gaustad added the insurance goal after Giguere had been pulled for the extra attacker.
Both of these teams lost on the road Monday night with Colorado losing 3-2 at Detroit, while Nashville at least got a crucial point in a 3-2 shootout loss in Chicago.
Nashville outshot the Avalanche in the first period with the Predators missing on several chances, the best by Hornqvist when he waited to shoot with Giguere coming just out of the crease. But Hornqvist had a tough angle and couldn’t get the puck into the net.
Predators coach Barry Trotz took his timeout at 8:49 of the second, not that it helped.
Nashville had its best scoring chance late in the period as Legwand got the puck at mid-ice and took a shot from the right circle. Giguere blocked that shot, but Legwand got the rebound in the slot and just missed off the side of the post as he was hooked by Colorado defenseman Ryan O’Byrne.
That gave the Predators only their second man advantage but the Avalanche killed that off. But the Predators kept Colorado scoreless too through the first 40 minutes, the ninth time they’ve done that this season.
Notes: The Predators’ sellout streak ended at 29 straight with 16,211 on hand. … The Avalanche are 2-14-2 when giving up a power-play goal. … Beck has six points (two goals, four assists) in his past six games. … O’Byrne played in his 300th career game. … Avalanche forward Chuck Kobasew missed a second straight game with stiffness after colliding with Rinne and a goalpost in Saturday’s 1-0 overtime win in Colorado, and David Jones missed his fourth straight with a knee injury.
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