Avalanche down Predators in high-scoring affair
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - An unexpected shootout broke out between two of the more offensively-challenged clubs as the Colorado Avalanche held on for a 6-5 win over the Nashville Predators at Pepsi Center.
Matt Duchene and waiver claim Aaron Palushaj both registered a goal and two assists for the Avalanche, who snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Predators.
Shea Weber was one of five players to finish with a goal and an assist for Nashville, which lost to Colorado for the first time since Jan. 22, 2010.
The Predators entered play last in the NHL in goals per game (1.87), while Colorado was ranked 26th (2.31).
The goals came fast and furious in the second period, beginning with Duchene's controversial tally at the 3:18 mark.
"I was a hundred percent offsides," Duchene admitted. "I thought I was just going to touch the puck for the play to stop."
P.A. Parenteau fired a stretch pass that Duchene beat into the Nashville zone. When Duchene gain possession of the puck, he expected, like many others, for the whistle to be blown. However, one wasn't forthcoming, and he beat Nashville goaltender Chris Mason on a breakaway, giving the Avalanche a 3-1 lead.
"They didn't blow the whistle. They thought we passed it back. It's part of the game that we can't control," said Predators head coach Barry Trotz.
The teams then combined to score five goals in a 3:30 span.
Nashville lit the lamp twice and the Avalanche quickly countered each time.
The Predators' Mike Fisher potted his 199th career goal at 10:16, but Chuck Kobasew answered 50 seconds later with his first goal of the season.
Nashville got back within one when Colin Wilson slid a backhander between the pads of Colorado netminder Semyon Varlamov on a breakaway at 13:17.
Paul Stastny, though, buried his own rebound 16 seconds later, and only another 13 seconds elapsed before Jamie McGinn put the Avalanche up 6-3.
Duchene knocked Weber off the puck on the forecheck and sent a pass out front from behind the net that McGinn snapped top shelf at 13:46.
Following the goal, Mason was replaced by Pekka Rinne between the pipes.
The Predators closed the gap before the second intermission as Jonathon Blum's point shot deflected in off the skate of Colorado defenseman Jan Hejda with 50 seconds remaining.
"We dominated in the third and I thought we could get at least a point," Trotz said.
The Predators outshot the Avalanche by a 17-5 spread over the final 20 minutes. Weber made it a one-goal game with 1:18 left, but Nashville couldn't complete the comeback.
Palushaj staked Colorado to a 1-0 lead 3:43 into the game, and Tyson Barrie doubled the advantage on a power play with his first NHL goal at 9:30 of the first period.
A power-play tally by Sergei Kostitsyn put Nashville on the board with 2:40 to go in the opening frame.
The Predators entered play first in the NHL in goals against per game (1.67) ... Duchene extended his goal-scoring streak to four games, matching his career high ... Varlamov made 33 saves ... Mason stopped 12 shots, while Rinne turned away all 10 shots he faced in relief ... The Predators activated forward Patric Hornqvist from injured reserve before the game. He had been sidelined since suffering a knee sprain on Jan. 26 at Anaheim.
02/18 19:36:13 ET