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Avs take big lead, hold on late to dump Preds

Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Nick Holden had two goals and an assist as the Colorado Avalanche held on for a 5-4 victory over the Nashville Predators, their first win in the Music City in five years.

Jan Hejda, Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene also tallied for the Avalanche, who barely made a 5-1 third-period lead stand up after the Predators scored three times in the final 12 minutes.

Paul Stastny, back from a two-game absence caused by a leg injury, chipped in two assists to support a 26-save effort from Semyon Varlamov as Colorado halted an 0-6-1 skid at Bridgestone Arena since last prevailing there on Jan. 6, 2009.

Roman Josi had a goal and an assist and Patric Hornqvist, Craig Smith and Ryan Ellis also lit the lamp for Nashville, but the Predators had a two-game win streak end after their comeback attempt fell short.

Devan Dubnyk, acquired by the Predators from Edmonton on Wednesday, stopped just 24-of-29 shots in his Nashville debut.

The Avalanche seemed headed towards a blowout win after potting three unanswered goals during a dominant opening period, with Holden setting the tone 6:21 in.

Dubynk got a piece of a Nathan MacKinnon attempt from close range, but Holden was left all alone to the left of the Nashville net and deposited the rebound into an open side for a 1-0 Colorado lead.

The Avalanche were up comfortably later in the period after scoring twice within a span of 38 seconds.

Hejda rocketed a screaming shot over Dubnyk's left arm with 8:33 remaining in the session, and Landeskog made it a 3-0 game moments afterward by one-timing home a Stastny feed while stationed in the right circle.

Putting together a considerably stronger second period, the Predators cut into the deficit while on a 4-on-3 power play with 5:24 left in the frame. David Legwand slid a pass across the crease for Mike Fisher, who promptly centered the puck for Hornqvist to tap in from close range.

Nashville nearly drew closer heading into the second intermission, but Shea Weber's blast that beat Varlamov was ruled to have come just after the session expired.

Holden's long drive that trickled under Dubnyk's skate with 2:31 elapsed in the third period pushed the lead to 4-1, and Duchene knocked in the carom of Holden's chance that went wide of the net four minutes later to put the Predators in a four-goal hole.

Smith banged home a loose puck in the Colorado crease to begin the Nashville rally at the 8:14 mark of the third, and Varlamov failed to pick up Ellis' slap shot from near the blue line that pulled the Preds within 5-3 with 7:15 remaining.

Josi connected off a Viktor Stalberg drop pass to trim the margin to a goal with 2:57 left, but Varlamov came up with two late saves with Dubnyk pulled as time wound down to preserve the win.

Game Notes

Varlamov improved to 11-0-5 in his last 16 starts, tying Peter Budaj's franchise record for consecutive decisions without a regulation loss. Budaj set the mark from Feb. 24-Apr. 5, 2007 ... Holden entered the matchup with only two goals in 28 career NHL games ... MacKinnon and John Mitchell also collected two assists for the Avalanche ... Nashville fell to 0-21-2 when trailing after two periods ... Predators defenseman Kevin Klein missed the game due to illness.

01/18 23:16:20 ET