Monday, February 18, 2013 6:35 pm
Duchene leads Avalanche past Predators 6-5
By ARNIE STAPLETONAP Sports Writer
The Predators pulled their goalie and Shea Weber scored with 1:18 left to make it a one-goal game, the only score of the final period.
Matt Duchene had a goal and two assists in helping the Avalanche to a rare win over the Predators, who had outscored Colorado 34-14 while sweeping the season series each of the past two years.
The Predators had pulled to 4-3 on Colin Wilson's goal before the double-whammy by Stastny and McGinn restored Colorado's cushion and forced Nashville coach Barry Trotz to summon Pekka Rinne, who is 6-1-1 in his past eight starts, to the net with 6 minutes left in the second period.
Chris Mason allowed six goals on just 18 shots. Rinne stopped all 10 shots he faced over the final 24 minutes.
The Predators pulled to 6-4 heading into the third period when Jonathon Blum's shot bounced off Jan Hejda's skate and scooted past Varlamov, who was coming off a 50-save game in a loss at Edmonton on Saturday night and saved 33 shots in this game.
The teams combined for seven goals in the second period, including one by Duchene that drew a vehement argument from Trotz, who protested the Avs star was offside on the play.
Mike Fisher's goal pulled Nashville to 3-2. But 50 seconds later, Chuck Kobasew scored his first goal of the season to restore Colorado's two-goal cushion.
Then, there were three goals in a 29-second span, starting with Wilson's score that made it 4-3 and followed by the consecutive shots that sent Mason to the bench.
The Avs had lost four of five and were coming off a 6-4 loss to the Oilers in which they twice blew a three-goal lead and allowed the Oilers a team record 56 shots. Varlamov's 50 saves that night equaled Clint Malarchuk's franchise record for a regulation game.
The Avalanche took a 2-1 lead in the first period of their first Presidents Day game since 2007-08. Aaron Palushaj scored his second goal of the season just 3:43 into the game when his wrist shot ricocheted off Mason's right skate, and Tyson Barrie scored his first career goal on a slap shot. The Predators got on the board with a power-play goal from Sergei Kostitsyn.
Notes: Among the missing players from the Avalanche lineup were D Erik Johnson (head) and F Gabriel Landeskog (concussion). ... Last season's leading scorer Ryan O'Reilly continues to hold out in a contract dispute. ... Nashville C Paul Gaustad (upper body injury) went out in the second period. ... Since the start of the 2003-04 season, Nashville has a 22-8-8 record in matinees.