Series (Game 1 of 4)

Nashville leads 3-1

Game 1: Saturday, October 25th
Game 2: Monday, November 24th
Game 3: Thursday, January 8th
Game 4: Sunday, April 4th

Avalanche 5

(4-3-0, 8 pts)

Predators 3

(3-4-0, 6 pts)

8:00 PM ET, October 25, 2003

Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee

1 2 3 T
COL 1 3 15
NSH 0 1 23

M. Hejduk (Avalanche - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

P. Forsberg (Avalanche - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

A. Tanguay (Avalanche - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Colorado 5, Nashville 3

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Colorado Avalanche withstood an early flurry of penalties, and then put away the victory -- just as they usually do when visiting the Nashville Predators.

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 the first.

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 second period.

"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 Blake.

Johansson will be re-evaluated on Monday.

Game notes

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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press