Nashville jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Shea Weber and Matt Halischuk within the first ten minutes of the game. Colorado fought back with a goal by Ryan O’Reily in the start of the second period to bring the Avalanche with a goal, but Joel Ward responded.
A tight third period saw no scoring until an empty net goal with one second left, making the final score 4-2, though the game was much closer than that score suggests. Colorado has now lost 20 of 22 games, despite outshooting Nashville by a 38-29 margin.
Nashville is in the thick of the playoff race because of their very stingy defense led by captain Shea Weber and backed by goalie Pekka Rinne (who has a 2.10 GAA and .924 SV% in his past 10 starts). Currently in 10th place, the Predators are only three points out of the eight seed and four points out of the fourth seed. Earning two points against Colorado would go a long way towards solidifying their postseason position.
Colorado continues to be bitten by the injury bug. Paul Stastny is a game-time decision, as is John-Michael Liles. The bad luck and injuries that have plagued the Avalanche all season are now making the end of the season painful to watch for fans. Thankfully, there are only 15 games remaining.
Peter Budaj will get in the start in net for Colorado. Pekka Rinne plays for Nashville.