Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Predators Jump to Early Lead to Sink Avalanche 4-1 in Denver

The Nashville Predators took a rare recent road trip to Colorado, after playing 12 of their last 16 games in the friendly confines of Bridgestone Arena and blew the doors off the previously hot Colorado Avalanche with a 4-1 win.

It was the Predators sixth win in a row over the Avs in a game where they jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opening period and never looked back.

The Predators' first period goals from Nick Spaling, Ryan Ellis, and Marty Erat were all that was needed to clinch the win for Nashville. Patric Hornqvist added the icing on the cake in the third.

Pekka Rinne withstood a barrage of Avalanche shots, stopping 32 of 33 shots to secure the victory. Semyon Varlamov had less work in taking the loss as he stopped 22 of 26 Nashville shots.

The win left the Preds in sixth place in the Western Conference with 50 points. The team left immediately after the game and will practice at Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday at 1 p.m.

Make the jump for a few stats and the comments from the couch...

First Period...

Starting Goalies were Rinne (7-3-0, 2.50,.901 against the Avs) and Varlamov (1-0-0, 1.85, .917 against the Preds).

Jerred Smithson and Jack Hillen were the scratches for the Predators. Ex-Pred Shane O'Brien, Erik Johnson, and Brandon Yip were the official scratches for the Avs.

Spaling scored his first NHL goal outside of  Bridgestone Arena at 4:41 with assists going to Jordin Tootoo and Gabriel Bourque at 4:31 to give the Preds an early 1-0 lead and the Preds remained perfect when he scores.

T.J. Galardi was called for tripping Spaling at 7:18. Twenty-three seconds into the power play, Ellis took the feed from Marty Erat and Roman Josi put it past Varlamov to give the Preds a 2-0 lead and give him his second man-advantage marker.

With 4:55 left in the period, Erat took a pass from Mike Fisher and put the Predators ahead 3-0 to put the Avalanche in a position they probably could not overcome with Rinne in net.

1st Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        3        13        24       0-0:00 9-11 45%
Avalanche         0          6        15       1-2:00 11-9 55%

Second Period...

At 1:40 into the period, Tootoo came close to a score and Varlamov was even stunned that he saved it.

Matt Haliscuk was called for goaltender interference at 2:53 when he bumped into Varlamov. The Avalance got a pair of shots but drew no blood.

At 16:12, Colin Wilson drew at boarding penalty from rookie Gabriel Landeskog. the Predators got two shots but no scoring on the man advantage.

Frankie Bouillon was called for hooking O'Reilly at 18:25 to give the Avs their a power play and then O'Reilly converted on the man-advantage at 19:24 to make it 3-1 on what would have been a "Goo-Goo goal" had it been in Nashville with the Preds scoring.

2nd Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        0        6        13       2-4:00 9-12  43%
Avalanche           1       18        28       1-2:00 12-9  57%

The Predators got an early power play at :31 when Ryan O'Byrne was called for holding Colin Wilson's stick. The man advantage was short lived when Patric Hornqvist was called for interference on Kyle Quincy 20 seconds later. The Preds were shot-less and the Avs got a single shot on the exchange.

The Predators never got a shot in the final period until 11:02 when Shea Weber got an attempt. The Avs had six in the final stanza at that point. Oddly enough, after Weber's shot, the Preds got three more shots in the next 1:49.

At 15:34, Hornqvist scored for his second game in a row when he took a pass from Ellis on a play that started with him passing to Ellis from the corner to give the Preds another three goal lead and seal the victory.

Third Period...

3rd  Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        1         7        13       1-2:00 9-12  43%
Avalanche          0         9        17       1-2:00 12-9  57%


Final     Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        4        26        50       3-6:00 27-35 44%
Avalanche          1        33        60       3-6:00 35-27 56%

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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