Avalanche Vs. Predators: Colorado Returns To Pepsi Center

(Sports Network) - Coming off their first loss in seven games, the Nashville Predators aim for their first season-series sweep of the Colorado Avalanche this evening at the Pepsi Center.

The Preds carried a season high-tying six-game win streak into the Tuesday's meeting with the visiting Canucks, but lost a 3-1 decision as Vancouver locked up the top seed in the Western Conference.

Mike Fisher scored the lone goal, his third in two games after going 17 in a row without a marker, and Pekka Rinne made 29 saves for the Predators, who lost for the second time in 10 games in the finale of a four-game homestand.

"It was just one game but all of them are big," said Nashville defenseman Jonathon Blum. "We had a good run and you can't win them all. We just have to go back out and play hard in Colorado on Thursday."

The loss was ill-timed as it has the Predators seventh overall in the West, one point back of the Ducks and two behind the fifth-place Kings with five games to play. Los Angeles, though, has a game in hand, while Anaheim also has five contests left.

Despite the run, Nashville also has little chance of catching Detroit for first place in the Central Division, The Red Wings are six up with five to play.

Rinne is 6-3-0 with a 2.55 goals-against average and has been in net for all three of the Preds' victories over the Avalanche this season. Nashville posted a 5-1 victory at Colorado on Jan. 20 for its second win in its last three trips there. The Preds have since won two games at home to run their overall series winning streak to four straight with victories in six of the past seven meetings overall.

Colorado will look to avoid getting swept by Nashville in the season series for the first time and pick up just its fourth win in its past 27 games. The Avalanche lost a third straight outing and fell to 3-21-2 since Jan. 26 with Monday's 5-4 defeat in Anaheim.

Goals by Ryan O'Reilly and Matt Duchene in the first period put the Avalanche up early, but Anaheim got its first tally on a penalty shot early in the second when defenseman John-Michael Liles covered the puck in the crease and hardly looked back.

"The penalty shot was big. It changed the momentum of the game," said Colorado head coach Joe Sacco.

Brian Elliott gave up all five Anaheim goals on 42 shots.

Colorado aims to avoid its 10th loss in its last 11 at home tonight and will start Elliott again tonight. He halted 25-of-26 shots faced in his only other career start against the Predators on Dec. 23 while with the Senators.

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