Milan Hejduk scored two goals within two minutes in the second
period and had an assist, and Peter Forsberg added a goal and two
assists as Colorado Avalanche held off the Predators 5-3 Saturday
night for a sixth straight victory on Nashville's home ice.
Colorado now is 12-4-5-0 against Nashville all-time, and this
time, the Avalanche had to kill off four power plays in the first
15 minutes. Nashville took 10 of its 19 shots in the first period.
"Our penalty-killing was really good and kept us in the game,"
Hejduk said. "The last couple of games we started playing better
hockey, creating more scoring chances."
Colorado scored first for the sixth time in seven games when
Teemu Selanne put the puck under Tomas Vokoun's glove off a rebound
of John-Michael Liles' shot from the high slot with 3:13 left in
Nashville had hoped returning home would help snap its first
losing skid of the season, but the Predators lost their third
straight when Colorado scored three goals within six minutes in the
"You get enough chances with those guys, they're going to be
able to get some goals for you," Colorado coach Tony Granato said.
The Predators did make it close by scoring two goals on just
four shots in the third as Adam Hall scored at 7:29, putting a shot
past David Aebischer's glove from the slot. Scott Walker scored his
first of the season with 3:39 left to pull Nashville within 4-3.
But they couldn't get off another shot on goal, and Steve
Konowalchuk clinched the victory with his first goal this season on
an empty-net score with 3.1 seconds left.
"We came out hard," Nashville forward Scott Hartnell said.
"They took it up another level. We showed a lot of guts to come
back. Came up one puck short. We were right there with them. We
know we can play with them. That gives us a little confidence."
Alex Tanguay set up Hejduk's first with a drop pass in the right
circle, and Hejduk scored over Vokoun's shoulder 6:15 into the
second for a 2-0 lead. Forsberg then found Hejduk in the slot on a
power play at 8:03, and Hejduk again scored over Vokoun's right
shoulder for a 3-0 lead.
"Forsberg to me, of all the teams we've played this year, he's
by far the most dominant player," Nashville coach Barry Trotz
said. "He can hold you off with one hand."
Hartnell scored through Aebischer's legs at 8:51 for the
Predators to make it 3-1.
But Forsberg, who had his seventh career hat trick in Thursday
night's 6-1 victory over Edmonton, gave Colorado a 4-1 lead as he
skated through traffic and the left circle before scoring on a
backhander at 12:15.
"After the last game, we needed to get on a little roll here,
and today I think we did," Forsberg said.
Nashville had been trying to add to the best home start in
franchise history (3-1-0). But the Predators struggled offensively
and went 0-for-5 on the power play after losing left wing Andreas
Johansson in the first following a check by Colorado defenseman Rob
Johansson will be re-evaluated on Monday.
Colorado left wing Paul Kariya missed his second straight
game because of a sprained wrist. ... Tanguay, who had a
career-high four assists Thursday night, had two against Nashville
to extend his point streak to five games. He has two goals and
seven assists in this stretch. ... Nashville defenseman Tomas
Kloucek skated in his 100th NHL career game. ... Nashville
defenseman Marek Zidlicky went pointless after becoming the first
in franchise history to score points in each of his first six games
with the team.