Final OT

Series (Game 3 of 4)

Nashville leads 3-1

Game 1: Saturday, October 25th
Avalanche5Final
Predators3
Game 2: Monday, November 24th
Predators3Final
Avalanche2
Game 3: Thursday, January 8th
Avalanche3Final
OT
Predators4
Game 4: Sunday, April 4th
Predators2Final
OT
Avalanche1

Avalanche 3

(21-10-2, 51 pts)

Predators 4

(19-16-2, 44 pts)

8:00 PM ET, January 8, 2004

Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee

1 2 3 OT T
COL 2 0 1 03
NSH 0 2 1 14

J. York (Predators - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

C. Mason (Predators - G): Saves: 31, Save Pct.: .912

P. Kariya (Avalanche - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Backup goalie makes 31 saves

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Nashville Predators finally found someone other than Tomas Vokoun who can win a game in goal.

Jason York scored at 1:12 in overtime, and backup goaltender Chris Mason stopped 31 shots for his first career victory to help Nashville beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 Thursday night.

Mason is just the third goalie in the franchise's six-year history to win a game for Nashville, and he did it in his 12th NHL appearance. He said he was overjoyed.

"I thought it was going to slip away," Mason said. "Unbelievable, really nervous. They have an All-Star team."

York also had an assist. Both Simon Gamache and Andrew Hutchinson scored their first NHL goals, and Greg Johnson added a goal and an assist for Nashville, which beat Colorado at home for the first time since Dec. 26, 2000.

Mason started only because Vokoun came down with the flu Wednesday night after starting the last 21 games. Mason faced a Colorado team that had won four straight and five of its last seven and came in as the NHL's best road team.

He nearly got the victory in regulation, but Colorado forced overtime when York was called for slashing with 43 seconds left. Paul Kariya scored his fifth goal on a power play when he poked the puck under Mason's right leg off a rebound of a shot by Joe Sakic.

York responded with his second goal this season as the Predators snapped a two-game losing skid.

"The shot went in," Colorado goalie David Aebischer said. "I should've stopped that one no question. Surprised me? Not really. I just should've stopped it."

The Avalanche outshot Nashville 34-23, but Mason shut down Colorado after giving up a short-handed goal to Peter Forsberg and a power-play goal to Sakic in the first. Milan Hejduk added two assists, and Alex Tanguay and Adam Foote had an assist apiece.

"Chris was awesome for keeping it 2-0," York said. "It could have been five after the first. He gave us a chance to win tonight."

Mason's best save came during a four-on-four at 9:15 in the third as he stopped first a shot from Teemu Selanne with his stick, then smothered the rebound shot by Steve Konowalchuk.

Hutchinson put Nashville up 3-2 as he took the puck, skated behind the goal and put a backhander through Aebischer's legs for the 3-2 lead. Aebischer was coming off his third shutout of the season and had allowed only three goals in his last three games.

The Avalanche tried to rally but couldn't get the puck past Mason. He had a stick save off a shot by Rob Blake -- voted to his fourth All-Star start in five seasons earlier Thursday -- then he gloved a backhander by Tanguay with 2:47 remaining.

"We didn't work hard enough to have one point the way we played," Forsberg said. "We should have zero points."

Nashville evened the score with two goals in the second despite taking only four shots. Gamache scored at 11:00, and Johnson tied the game with his eighth this season on a short-handed breakaway as he grabbed the puck near the blue line and easily beat Aebischer at 15:39.

Game notes


Mike Dunham, now with the New York Rangers, and Vokoun are the only other goalies to win games for Nashville. ... Forsberg extended his points streak to four games, and he has 10 during that stretch. ... Foote has four assists in three games. ... Nashville has seven short-handed goals this season, including six in the last 22 games. ... Vokoun has missed only three of Nashville's 41 games this season. ... Nashville had scored just one goal in the past two games. ... This was Gamache's 10th NHL game, while it was the sixth for Hutchinson.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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