By Amanda DiPaolo
When the Nashville Predators played host to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night several storylines emerged.
Mike Fisher’s debut and Peter Forsberg back in Nashville took center stage, but there was also the Avalanche’s six games losing skid, now 7, and the Predators first back to back wins since beating the Avalanche on the 20th and the Oilers on the 23rd of January.
Mike Fisher played just over 18 minutes in his debut with the Predators.
Nashville won the game 5-3, extending Colorado’s losing streak to 7 games.
Fisher won 75% of his faceoff draws, took 2 shots, had an assist and was a +2 in 18:10 of ice time.
“It was definitely an exciting and fun game for me. [I had] a lot of nerves early, that’s for sure, but I kind of calmed down and got into it,” Fisher said about the game, “I thought the guys played really well and responded. It was obviously a big game for us, and it was just a lot of fun to be a part of, for sure.”
Colorado got on the board first when Nashville turned over the puck in the neutral zone. Kevin Porter scored his 10th goal of the season at 11:05 into the first period when he walked right in on Rinne and shot the puck under his left leg. Paul Stastny and Matt Hunwick picked up the assists.
The Predators answered the goal by one of their own 11 seconds later. Predators Captain Shea Weber notched his 11th goal of the season with Fisher screening Avalanche goaltender Peter Budaj. Marty Erat and Ryan Suter picked up the assists.
The two clubs exchanged goals once again in the second period.
Erat scored a power play goal, his ninth tally of the season. Erat banged in his own rebound with the puck sitting just in front of the goal line giving Nashville the 2-1 lead at 4:36 into the second period.
“It seems like every day when we don’t play we drop, and it’s going to be all the way like this. It’s 26 games, and we just have to get points from every single game when we can,” Erat said about the tight situation faces all Western Conference teams.
The Avalanche tied things up just under five minutes later when David Jones walked in uncontested from the corner and stuck the puck, again, under the left leg of Rinne.
Colorado would score three goals on ten shots as they took the lead early in the third period. Matt Duchene picked up his 21st goal of the season at 2:54 of the final frame.
Nashville would tie the game and then take the lead with only 2:30 left in the game. At 4:11, just 1:17 after Duchene put Colorado on top, Patric Hornqvist put one past Budaj with a blast from the slot. It was Hornqvist’s 17th goal of the season. Legwand and Sullivan picked up the assists.
With the game tied at 3, it was Cody Franson who would be the hero for the Predators faithful when he scored an unassisted goal to give Nashville the lead with under three minutes to play.
Legwand added an empty net goal to give Nashville the 5-3 win. Fisher recorded an assist on the empty net goal, his first point as a Predator.
Nashville now plays San Jose on Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. Tickets are still available.
– Photo Credit: Getty Images
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