By Amanda DiPaolo
The Nashville Predators got goals from five different players as they beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-1 on Thursday night. The Predators have now scored 10 goals in the last two games. It was the first of four games to be played between the two clubs.
Sergei Kostitsyn got Nashville on the board when he scored off the rush at 3:15 into the first period. Marcel Goc passed the puck to Erat who sent the puck across the ice to Kostitsyn. The puck went in the net off the inside post. It was Kostitsyn’s 12th goal of the season.
With only 3:23 left to play in the opening period, Nashville took a 2-0 lead on a goal by Cody Franson. Winning the battle for the puck in the corner, David Legwand threw it down behind the net to Patric Hornqvist. With Colin Wilson in front of the net, Hornqvist sent the puck straight to Franson who skated in from the point for the one-timer that went over the glove of Anderson. The goal was Franson’s sixth of the season.
The Predators first power play came near the midway point of the first period when Ryan Stoa was called for hooking Shea Weber in the Predators end. With a 68 percent kill-off rate at home, Colorado ranks 30th in the League, but Nashville was not able to generate any offense or any shots on goal for that matter. Nashville would have a power play opportunity in the second and two in the third period as well but could not capitalize.
Nashville only had to kill off one penalty, when Cody Franson was called for tripping at 6:38 into the middle frame.
Nashville had an excellent opportunity to make it 3-0 nine minutes into the second period. Wilson and Hornqvist had a 2 on 1. Wilson shot the puck on net and Hornqvist tried to bang in the rebound, but couldn’t. Legwand and Wilson also rushed to the net trying to jam the puck through Anderson’s pads but were unable to do so.
With under seven mintues to play in the second period, it looked like Stoa scored, cutting the Predators lead in half, with a banckhand shot of a Matt Duchene rebound. Play continued because the puck hit Rinne’s pad and came back out of the net. Upon video review it appeared the puck had crossed the goal line completely, but the ruling on the ice (no goal) stood because the war room in Toronto determined there was no conclusive evidence to show the puck completely crossed the line.
Stoa just got recalled from the Avs American Hockey League affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters.
The third period’s highlight was Matt Halischuk recording his first goal as a member of the Nashville Predators in his third game played with the team. Halischuk scored on a wrap-around at 2:05 into the third period. Shane O’Brien and JP Dumont picked up the assists.
The goal was Halischuk’s second career tally in the NHL, and was also the second scoring chance that Halischuk had on the same shift. Just moments before, Halischuk missed an open net shot.
Nashville did not back down and would score two more goals before the final buzzer sounded.
Legwand chipped the puck out of his own zone, beat the Avs defenseman to the puck in the neutral zone and skated into Colorado territory with Wilson, creating a 2-on-1 situation. Electing to shoot, Legwand shot the puck high, stick side scoring to give the Predators a commanding 4-0 lead at 4:22 of the final frame just a couple minutes after the Halischuk goal. It was Legwand’s sixth goal of the season.
Wilson added the other goal for the Predators. Wilson was given the puck by Shea Weber just before Nashville’s blue line and flew all the way down the right side of the rink, beating both Colorado defensemen as well as Anderson to score high glove side at 9:57. It was Wilson’s 12th goal of the season.
It looked like Pekka Rinne might pick up his fourth shutout of the season but the shutout was broken with under four minutes to play. From behind the net, Kevin Shattenkirk found an open Matt Duchene in the slot all alone. Duchene beat Rinne on the stick side. It was Duchene’s 19th goal of the season.
Additional Game Notes:
The Avs were without Tomas Fleischmann. The team announced that the former Capital will miss the remainder of the season so he can be treated for pulmonary emboli, a blood clot in his lungs. Fleischmann needs to go on blood thinners.
The Predators have scored 5 or more goals five times this season and are 5-0-0 in those games.
Are you looking for tickets to an upcoming Predators home game? Follow this link for discounted tickets. Make an account and then use the word Preds as the code for the discount.