Rinne sets record as Preds defeat Avalanche 4-2
The Nashville Predators corrected some things & were able to defeat a desperate Colorado Avalanche team 4-2 at a sold out Bridgestone Arena last night. The alarm clock went off & the Preds were rudely awakened at 1:14 of the 1st period when Avs F Jaime McGinn, who was left alone in the slot, fired home his 16th goal of the season to give the Avalanche an early 1-0 lead.
The Preds seemed to get angry very quickly & turned the ice in their favor 1:40 later when the lettered leaders joined forces for the tying goal. Mike Fisher fired home a long wrist shot that kissed off the leg of the D-man who was covering a charging S Kostitsyn for his 20th goal of the season assisted by Shea Weber & Ryan Suter. At 6:58 of the 1st, former Avalanche player Brandon Yip deflected a Roman Josi wrist shot from out near the blue line that looked very similar to the Fisher goal earlier to give the Preds a 2-1 lead. In a play that screams don’t make me a healthy scratch anymore, Preds F Matt Halischuck was dogging the Avalanche D on the forecheck & was able to force a turnover near the circle freeing the puck to a wide open Sergei Kostitsyn who fired home a wrist shot for his 17th Goal with only :32 secs left in the 2nd period (a Goo Goo Goal) making the score 3-1.
The Avs came out strong to start the 3rd period & were able to make a great play when Peter Mueller sent a pass from behind the net to Paul Stastny in the slot who snapped a one timer home for his 17th goal of the season & made it a 1 goal game with 15:02 remaining. Colorado continued to push hard & came within 1 post & 1 cross bar of tying the game, but G Pekka Rinne held strong & after a Martin Erat EN Goal (16), he recorded his 37th win on the season, which not only leads the league, but also sets a new single season franchise record (Vokoun 36).
The Nashville Defense was very solid after that early goal limiting Colorado to only 17 shots & few scoring chances throughout the rest of the game. The entire Predators team played hard, tough (21 hits), & did not shy away from the difficult areas in this game. The Preds must continue to work hard & play physical if they have any plans to move up in the standings.
The bottom line:
-The Nashville Predators are 39-21-7 (85 Pts) and sit 3rd in The Central Division, 8 Pts behind St Louis & 4 Pts behind Detroit.
-In the Western Conference The Predators are in 5th, 4 Pts behind Detroit with the chase pack: 6 Chicago (79), 7 Phoenix (76), 8 San Jose (75) & 9 LA/Col (74).
-The Predators have gained 2 of a possible 4 points on this current 3 game home stand.
-The Predators next game will be at home on Sat Vs Detroit Red Wings.
-The Predators are 2-2-0 since Andrei Kostitsyn & Paul Gaustad joined the team.
-F Mike Fisher scored 1 goal Vs Colorado giving him 20 on the season (5th 20 G season of career) & was +3.
-D Shea Weber had a great game & the Captain was involved in everything playing 26:18 mins with 1 Assist, a +2, 5 Shots on goal, 6 Hits, 2 blocked shots & 2 Take aways.
-F Jordin Tootoo was feisty all night & led the team with 7 Hits & also dropped the gloves for his 4th fighting major.
-G Pekka Rinne leads the NHL in wins with 37 & set a new franchise single season mark with the victory.
Leg-watch 500- With 1 Goal Vs Fla on Saturday, David Legwand now has 489 points in his career (184G 305 A) with the Predators.