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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, October 12th (All times eastern)

Nashville Predators (2-0-0) at Colorado Avalanche (2-1-0), 9 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Nashville Predators try to stay unbeaten on the season this evening when they head to Colorado to face the Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.

On Saturday, Paul Kariya scored the lone shootout goal to lift the Predators to a 3-2 win against his former team, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.

Kariya, Anaheim's all-time leading scorer, was held scoreless on the night, but he redeemed himself in the shootout. After Nashville came up empty on its first two attempts and Anaheim failed o all three of its tries, Kariya skated in and beat Mighty Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere high to the glove side to win the game for the Predators, who improved to 2-0.

Tonight, Kariya returns to face the Avalanche for the first time since his one ill-fated season with the club. Kariya signed in Colorado prior to the start of the 2003-04 campaign, along with friend Teemu Selanne, but posted the worst season of his career, as he netted just 11 goals and 25 assists in 51 games.

Nashville, which is off to its best start in team history, has killed off all 11 shorthanded situations this season and is the only team in the NHL to do so.

A big reason for that has been the play of goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who picked up his 100th career win on Saturday and has let in just four goals this season. However, he has not had success versus the Avalanche in his career, as he is just 3-7-1 with a 3.42 goals-against-average.

Steve Sullivan is expected to skate in his 600th career NHL game tonight

The Predators, who will be starting a three-game road trip, will be away from home for the first this season.

Colorado, meanwhile, comes in riding a winning streak as well after routing the defending Western Conference champion Calgary Flames, 7-3, on Monday.

Marek Svatos had his first career hat trick and added an assist, while the Avs also got goals from Brett McLean, Antti Laaksonen, Patrice Brisebois and Wojtek Wolski, who had his first career NHL goal and also added two assists, as Colorado won the first of their four-game homestand.

David Aebischer made 30 saves for the Avalanche, who have won two in a row since dropping their season opener against Edmonton.

With his next goal, Joe Sakic will tie Maurice "Rocket" Richard for 21st place in NHL history with 544 goals. Elsewhere on the milestone front, Pierre Turgeon is four goals shy of becoming the 34th player in NHL history to reach 500 goals. Only Sakic reached the plateau, while wearing an Avs sweater.

Nashville was 3-1 versus the Avalanche in 2003-04 and could hold the advantage tonight, as the road team in this series is 6-1-1 in the last eight matchups. The Predators are also unbeaten in their last four in Colorado (3-0-1).

10/12 11:04:30 ET


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