NHL Game Summary - Nashville at Colorado
(Tuesday, January 30th)
Final Score: Colorado 4, Nashville 3
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Andrew Brunette tallied a goal and an assist while Peter Budaj made 34 saves, as the Colorado Avalanche opened a five-game homestand with a 4-3 victory over the NHL-leading Nashville Predators at Pepsi Center.
Wojtek Wolski, Milan Hejduk and Tyler Arnason also scored for the Avalanche, who halted a two-game slide and finished the month of January with a 7-3-2 record. Joe Sakic notched two assists in the victory.
"That was big - we needed to get back our confidence," said Arnason. "This is our first big home stand in a while and it could be a good jumping-off point."
Paul Kariya, Jason Arnott and Steve Sullivan scored for the Predators, who had won four straight and 10 of their last 11 games prior to this setback. Nashville, which will visit Phoenix on Thursday, is now 10-3 in 2007.
Tomas Vokoun allowed four goals on 35 shots in the loss.
With the scored tied 2-2 in the latter stages of the second period, the Avalanche moved ahead on Wolski's 17th goal of the season. Brunette held control beneath the right circle and slid a nice pass under the stick of Nashville defenseman Dan Hamhuis for Wolski, who scored from atop the goal mouth at 16:14.
"We were working it well down low," said Wolski. "I got the puck (from Brunette) and got it in."
Only 46 seconds into the final stanza, the Avs took a two-goal lead. Paul Stastny, stationed along the goal line to the right of the net, passed into the right circle, where Hejduk unloaded a successful one-timer for his 16th goal of the season.
The Predators gained a four-minute power play midway through the third, but failed to solve Budaj, who made nine saves in the period. The visitors finally cut their deficit to 4-3 when Vokoun was pulled for the extra skater and Sullivan notched his 18th goal with a wrister from the high slot, but the Avs held on for the win.
"They are a desperate team," said Vokoun of the Avalanche. "Their goaltender was good and he did not give out any rebounds. It was not our best game."
Colorado opened the scoring at the 5:11 mark of the first period when Brunette cashed in during a 2-on-1 rush with Sakic. Brunette held control along the right side, waited out Vokoun and lit the lamp from along the goal line.
After Arnason's 12th goal midway through the first made it 2-0, the Predators cut their deficit in half with 2:32 to play before the first intermission. Nashville cycled well in its offensive zone during a power play it gained when Ken Klee was whistled for holding.
Near the end of the two-minute minor, Sullivan held control of the puck behind the net and passed to the top of the left circle for Arnott, who unleased a blazing slap shot that sailed into the upper right corner of the net three seconds after the penalty expired.
Before four minutes elapsed in the middle session, the Preds tied it up. A shot from the right point by Marek Zidlicky was stopped, but the rebound kicked loose. Kariya swooped in, gained control, skated across the top of the crease and lifted a wrister over a sliding Budaj at the 3:55 mark.
Sullivan extended his point streak to eight games (4 goals, 6 assists)...The Avalanche learned earlier this week that veteran defenseman Patrice Brisebois, who needs surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back, will miss the remainder of the season...The Avs improved to 14-10-3 at home in 2006-07...Both teams finished 0-for-3 on the power play...Klee accounted for all six of Colorado's penalty minutes...Attendance at "The Can" was 17,119.
01/30 23:31:19 ET