NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -Wojtek Wolski scored both goals for the Colorado Avalanche in a 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.
It was the fifth loss in a row for the Predators. The Avalanche ended a three-game slide.
Ryan Jones, recalled from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League earlier in the day, scored for the Predators.
At 7:30 of the first period, J.P. Dumont fired a wrist shot from low inside the left circle that bounced off Avalanche goaltender Andrew Raycroft. The shot moved Raycroft to the far side of the goal mouth and Jones, stationed in front of the net, put the rebound into an open net. Raycroft had 22 saves.
Wolski and the Avalanche answered at 14:25. Milan Hejduk, skating down the left side passed the puck to Wolski who was skating low through the slot. Wolski's one-timer beat Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne high to his glove side. Rinne finished with 19 saves.
Hejduk found Wolski in almost the same spot at 15:47 of the second period. This time Wolski beat Rinne with a shot that went above his shoulder and into the top of the net.
Ryan Jones made an immediate impact upon his return to the NHL. Recalled earlier in the day, the rookie forward scored on just 7:20 into his return on his fourth shift of the game. It wasn’t a highlight-reel goal, but it was done while doing what Jones does best – crashing the net.
J.P. Dumont carried the puck down the left wing and snapped a high shot on net. Andrew Raycroft made the initial save, but left the rebound out in front of the crease. Jones was cutting hard to the net and was able to shovel the puck into the vacated net before Raycroft was able to scramble back into the play. Nothing flashy, but just the kind of blue-collar goals Jones has been scoring throughout his junior and collegiate careers; the plays that netted him 60 goals the past two seasons at Miami University and First Team All-America status.
Though he wasn’t credited for any official hits, Jones also did a good job of using his body to create space along the boards and in front of the net.
It was a good continuation of the way played for the Milwaukee Admirals when he was assigned to the AHL in late November. Jones took the demotion professionally; went to Milwaukee and showed he belonged playing at the higher level. In 21 AHL games he scored 11 goals, tied for fifth among AHL rookies – despite missing the first quarter of the season while with the NHL squad.
Jones is not going to be flashy, but his blue-collar style and track record for producing results will be a valuable asset as the Preds close in on the midway point to the 2008-09 season. --Jay Levin, NashvillePredators.com
Post-Game Quotes: Head Coach Barry Trotz On being disappointed with a 1-1 score at the end of the first…
"We came out with a really good start and I thought for the most part that we dominated the first period. It was a little bit frustrating that you come out without the lead, but this is hockey. Sometimes this is going to happen and you’ve just got to stay mentally strong and do what we did in the first period and try to do it in the second period. We didn’t change anything. They didn’t have a lot of chances and looking back on it, I counted eight scoring chances that they had. I can’t remember in 10 years here when the team only had eight scoring chances."
On what needs to change…
"We did some things, but we did lose the game. Our left winger did a poor job on the two goals, plain and simple. If we take care of the details, then they have two less chances to score and it’s a 1-0 game. I think if things are going our way, then that’s the way we are going to have to do it. Everybody’s going to have to adjust their game and however they have to do it. We directed 70 shots at their net. It’s not like we’re not shooting the puck. We need some guys to contribute."
On the play of Ryan Jones…
"Ryan Jones did contribute. He got called up and scored a goal and the whole goal was set up by J.P. Dumont and Arnott. J.P. was going to the net hard and he kept driving and got inside the paint and shot the puck and Jones drove the net really hard; there was a rebound tap and that’s how you score."
On Ryan Jones helping out with offense…
"We could have use a little bit more because we are sitting here with a 2-1 loss. He did help in that we asked him to come up and he got a goal. That’s what you want players to do."
On other ways to score goals….
"We are looking at Mike Santorelli as a possible call-up, just because he’s scoring. We have a lot of guys that are not scoring. Do I believe in this group and that they can pull this thing around a start scoring? Absolutely. But right now it’s not happening so we’re looking for all the resources in the organization, be it Mike Santorelli or Patric Hornqvist. We’re at a critical time where we’ve got to get some wins."
Forward Ryan Jones On scoring …
"It’s good to help the team win games. We made one too many mistakes but it’s nice to help contribute."
On being down a goal …
"We knew that we were going to have to battle back and get one right away and if we had a few lucky bounces the game would have been different."
On the feel of the locker room being different …
"I wasn’t here that long before the game and didn’t know how it felt but you have to keep your spirits high in order to be confident and be ready to win."
Captain Jason Arnott On not winning games …
"We’re working and that’s the most important thing. We have a lot of issues in here and we have to deal with that. The puck’s not going in the net and that’s all I can say."
On the feel of the game …
"We came out strong and we played strong the whole game. We made two bad mistakes and were capitalized on but we had tons of chances, we hit posts, crossbars. They have to start going in eventually but we are going to keep working, we can’t stop working, we can’t stop gunning for it. That’s one thing we are built on in here, I’m proud of the guys today. They worked hard; they worked really, really hard. We should have won a long time ago. We should have packed it in a long time ago but everyone’s coming to the rink and playing really well. We’re getting prepared really well. Eventually we are going to win."
On if their first goal deflated the team…
"Not at all. We just kept battling. We know we’re not going to shut teams out every night. Teams are going to score on us, that’s inevitable. For the most part we played three solid periods. We had a lot of opportunities. We just didn’t capitalize."
Goaltender Pekka Rinne On playing desperate …
"I thought we came really hard and we still kept going even when they came back 1-1 and they scored another goal. I think we still kept going and the game was under our control and we had a lot of quality chances but it’s just frustrating. We’re not scoring right now and the bounces aren’t going our way."
1 - 0 NSH
1 - 1 Tie