Game Recap

Predators 5, Avalanche 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:48 AM

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Predators 5, Avalanche 1
Nashville Predators 5, Colorado Avalanche 1
DENVER – At 6-feet-5 and 207 pounds, Pekka Rinne is an imposing figure in the crease, and he's playing like a serious Vezina Trophy candidate. The 28-year-old Finnish goalie was solid again Thursday night at the Pepsi Center in the streaking Nashville Predators' 5-1 rout over the Colorado Avalanche.

The Predators, who have outscored opponents 42-21 while winning nine of their past 11 games, maintained their hold on fourth place in the Western Conference.

Rinne lost his bid for a shutout with 3:37 to play in the third period when Matt Duchene scored his team-leading 19th goal of the season.

Rinne has won eight of his past nine starts while allowing as many as three goals just once. He began the night ranked second in the NHL in goals-against average (2.13) and save percentage (.928).

The Avalanche, which had won three of its previous four games, learned a few hours before the game that left wing Tomas Fleischmann will miss the remainder of the season to be treated for pulmonary emboli – one blood clot in each of his lungs.

College Showcase
Tonight's game was a great advertisement for NCAA hockey as 12 of the 36 skaters in the lineup played the college game; a 13th college product, Colorado defenseman Matt Hunwick, was a scratch tonight. Five of the 12 had a NCAA Title to his resume and a sixth was a former Hobey Baker Award winner.

Colin Wilson (Boston U.) scored a highlight-reel goal in the third period (watch here) to help the Preds seal the win, while opposing two of his former BU Terrier teammates (Colorado
defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and forward Brandon Yip). The trio won the NCAA title in 2009.

Ryan Suter (U. of Wisconsin) made the jump from college to Nashville's top defense pairing. Fellow 2010 U.S. Olympian Paul Stastny, parlayed a career at University of Denver into a staring role in the NHL.

Preds rookie center Chris Mueller made a name for himself during Michigan State's '07 NCAA Title run and is now making the best of his chances at the pro level -- first turning heads for Milwaukee Admirals in the AHL and now contributing regularly in the Nashville line-up.

The other NCAA products in tonight's game were David Jones (Dartmouth), John-Michael Liles (Michigan St), Ryan O'Bryne (Cornell), Kevin Porter (U. of Michigan), Ryan Stoa (U. of Minnesota), Daniel Winnik (U of New Hampshire).
--Jay Levin,
Fleischmann will be administered blood thinners "for several months," Avalanche physician Dr. David Mellman said.

The Predators took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Sergei Kostitsyn and Cody Franson, then put the game on ice with three goals in the third.

Kostitsyn was in the right circle when he accepted a cross-ice pass from Martin Erat and fired the puck off the near post and into the net just 3:15 into the game. Franson scored from a similar spot on the ice at 16:37 with a one-timer that also beat goalie Craig Anderson to the short side off a feed from Patric Hornqvist.

Rookie Matt Halischuk and David Legwand connected on consecutive shots 2:17 apart early in the third period, and Colin Wilson stickhandled through the Avs' defense before putting a backhander over Anderson's glove at 9:57.

Halischuk, playing in his third game since being recalled Sunday from Milwaukee in the American Hockey League, scored on a wraparound at 2:05 for his first NHL goal. Legwand scored from the slot at 4:22.

NOTES: This was Colorado's first meeting with Nashville this season, leaving Anaheim as the only Western Conference foe the team has yet to face. ... Predators F Marek Svatos missed the game with a lower-body injury. Svatos was a seventh-round pick in 2001 by Colorado. ... Predators F Patric Hornqvist finished with two assists. ... D Kyle Cumiskey was back against Nashville after sitting out with a concussion since Oct. 30. He logged 19 minutes of ice time and had two shots on goal. ... Halischuk scored his second career goal. His other one came against Washington on Nov. 14, 2009. ... It was a difficult day for the Avs as Fleischmann, one of their top scorers, was diagnosed with two blood clots, one in each of his lungs. He complained of shortness of breath following the morning skate. The team said the 26-year-old left wing will be on blood thinners for several months and will be held out of action. He should be able to resume his career following treatment.

scoring summary
1st Period
Sergei Kostitsyn (12) ASST: Martin Erat (14), Marcel Goc (12)
1 - 0 NSH
Cody Franson (6) ASST: Patric Hornqvist (11), David Legwand (11)
2 - 0 NSH
2nd Period
3rd Period
Matt Halischuk (1) ASST: Shane O'Brien (6), J-P Dumont (8)
3 - 0 NSH
David Legwand (6) ASST: Patric Hornqvist (12), Cody Franson (11)
4 - 0 NSH
Colin Wilson (12) ASST: Shea Weber (21), Kevin Klein (10)
5 - 0 NSH
Matt Duchene (19) ASST: Kevin Shattenkirk (17), Chris Stewart (15)
5 - 1 NSH
penalty summary
1st Period
Ryan Stoa  Hooking against  Shea Weber
Shane O'Brien  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Ryan O'Byrne
Cody McLeod  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  David Legwand
2nd Period
John-Michael Liles  Tripping against  Martin Erat
3rd Period
Cody McLeod  Roughing against  Ryan Suter
Cody Franson  Tripping against  Philippe Dupuis
David Koci  Roughing against  Shane O'Brien
goalie stats
Pekka Rinne
SA: 33TOI: 59:59
Saves: 32EV: 31 - 32
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 1
SV%: .970SH: 0 - 0
Craig Anderson
Craig Anderson
SA: 28TOI: 60:00
Saves: 23EV: 20 - 25
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .821SH: 0 - 0 is the official Web site of the Nashville Predators and are trademarks of the Nashville Predators.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Nashville Predators and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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