NHL Game Summary - Colorado at Nashville |
(Tuesday, December 20th)
Final Score: Nashville 3, Colorado 2
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Steve Sullivan scored in his fifth
consecutive game and Tomas Vokoun made 24 saves, as the Nashville Predators
defeated the Colorado Avalanche, 3-2, at Gaylord Entertainment Center.
Marek Zidlicky and Scott Hartnell also scored for Nashville, which has won
three straight games. Sullivan now has 15 goals this season.
"It is a huge win," said Vokoun. "It was very important for us to get a lead
Pierre Turgeon and John-Michael Liles scored for the Avalanche, who have
dropped four of their last five games. Vitaliy Kolesnik allowed three goals on
27 shots and Joe Sakic assisted on both goals in the losing effort.
All three of the first-period goals -- two of which were scored by Nashville
-- came on the power play.
When Ian Laperriere was whistled for holding near the seven-minute mark and
Sakic went off for hooking 39 seconds later, the Predators used the two-man
advantage to grab a 1-0 lead.
After a face off, the puck came back to Kimmo Timonen, who took a wrist shot
from the high slot. The save was made, but Kolesnik could not control the
rebound and Sullivan punched it home from the left post.
"(Vokoun) made some big saves early and we scored on our 5-on-3," said
Nashville's Paul Kariya. "You have to score on those."
Less than two minutes later, still skating with the extra man, the Nashville
power play went right back to work. Defenseman Dan Hamhuis passed from the
point to Martin Erat at the top of the right circle. Erat quickly fired a
cross-ice feed to Zidlicky, whose slap shot beat Kolesnik at 9:02.
"Our penalty kill could have been better," said Avalanche defenseman Rob
Colorado cut its deficit in half in the latter stages of the frame when
Timonen's hooking infraction saw the visitors skate 5-on-4. After Vokoun made
a nice save on a blazing one-timer from the right circle, the rebound ended up
on Turgeon's stick behind the net. The veteran then pulled a page out of Wayne
Gretzky's book and banked the puck off the back of Vokoun and into the net
with 3:40 remaining.
Following a scoreless middle session in which each team failed to score on the
power play, the Preds took a 3-1 advantage midway through the third.
Colorado defenseman Brett Clark committed a turnover near his own blue line
and the puck sat in the high slot, where Hartnell scooped it up and hustled in
on a breakaway. A nice deke move led to a backhander that Hartnell lifted over
the shoulder of Kolesnik at the 10:41 mark.
Holding the two-goal lead in the third, the Predators were in control until
the Avalanche rallied for a late score.
Following a scramble in front and a flurry of shots that Vokoun kept out of
the net, Liles lit the lamp from a tough angle with 1:41 to play in
However, the Predators held on the rest of the way to close out their
excellent home slate in the calendar year of 2005. The next time Nashville,
which finished the year 16-3 at home, plays on this ice will by January 1,
2006 against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
Veteran NHL referee Rob Shick was supposed to officiate the contest, but
instead watched it from the press box after he suffered a broken foot earlier
Tuesday. Ian Walsh was the only referee on the ice...Nashville has now
captured five straight games against Colorado...The hosts finished 2-for-5 on
the power play and the Avs were 1-for-5 with the extra skater...Attendance was
12/20 23:32:49 ET