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21 SOG
24 SOG
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game recap

Predators 3, Avalanche 2

Monday, 06.18.2012 / 11:54 PM

Associated Press

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Predators 3, Avalanche 2
Colorado Avalanche 2, Nashville Predators 3

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -The Nashville Predators won the first period - and the game.

Vernon Fiddler, Shea Weber and David Legwand scored first-period goals, and Pekka Rinne made 19 saves in Nashville's 3-2 victory over Colorado on Thursday night. Ryan Smyth and Wojtek Wolski had first-period goals for the Avalanche.

The Predators are 7-0-0 when leading after the first period and 10-2-0 when scoring the first goal. They're 8-1-0 when Weber scores.

"Those are good stats and good omens for us," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "We have been behind in so many games 2-0 or 3-1 and it is hard to come back night in and night out. It is taxing on your team because you are pushing the envelope all the time.

"I hope we can keep those stats going. When you score first, especially at home, it gets the crowd into the game. It gives you a lot of good karma."

Rinne ran his record to 5-0. It was his second win in a row, but Trotz pointed out that Rinne's record is deceiving.

"That stat is a bit misleading because he twice gave up three goals real quickly and we scored enough goals to get him off the hook both times," Trotz said. "Other than those two games he has been pretty good.

"He seals the ice. He is a big body. He has great instincts and reflexes. He feels confident. He has some flow and feels good about himself."

Wade Belak sent a pass across ice that Fiddler got control of on the left side of the ice. He skated across the goalmouth and backhanded a shot past goalie Peter Budaj at 5:15 of the first period. The Avalanche tied it on a power play, with Smyth beating Rinne to his stick side on the tip of a Ruslan Salei point shot at 9:03.

The Predators took the lead on Weber's power-play goal. The defenseman blasted a shot from above the left circle that beat Budaj wide to his glove side at 12:36. The goal came less than a minute into a four-minute power play after Ian Laperriere was hit with double minor for cross-checking and unsportsmanlike conduct at 11:52.

Wolski scored a short-handed goal from low in the slot at 16:22.

Legwand closed out the first-period scoring with 0.3 seconds left. He skated in low from the left side and flicked a wrist shot behind Budaj.

"We pressed early and put a lot of pucks at the net," Legwand said. "It's always a positive when you can do that and get three goals. Anytime we get three goals as a team we should win the game."

The Avalanche out shot the Predators 15-13 in the last two periods.

"We cannot play catchup hockey," Smyth said. "Obviously, that late period goal was the difference. With 0.3 seconds on the clock or whatever it is, we have to get to the end of the period without them scoring again. We did not. "

Both sides were surprised that neither one could find the net again.

"We played hard the last 40 minutes," Avalanche head coach Tony Granato said. "We did everything we could to get back into it. But, obviously, it is a 60-minute game. A bad shift in the first period can be the difference in a game and it was for us."

Notes: Legwand played in his 574th game for the Predators, a team record. ... Budaj shut out the Predators 1-0 on Nov. 6.

scoring summary
1st Period
05:15
NSH
Vernon Fiddler (3) Backhand shot - ASST: Wade Belak (1), Ville Koistinen (4)
1 - 0 NSH
09:03
COL
PPG - Ryan Smyth (8) Slapshot - ASST: Ruslan Salei (7), Milan Hejduk (9)
1 - 1 Tie
12:36
NSH
PPG - Shea Weber (11) Slapshot - ASST: Ville Koistinen (5), J-P Dumont (20)
2 - 1 NSH
16:22
COL
SHG - Wojtek Wolski (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Cody McCormick (5)
2 - 2 Tie
19:59
NSH
David Legwand (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Dan Hamhuis (7), Antti Pihlstrom (1)
3 - 2 NSH
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
NONE
penalty summary
1st Period
06:17
COL
Ryan Smyth  Slashing against  David Legwand
08:39
NSH
Dan Hamhuis  Tripping against  Ryan Smyth
08:44
NSH
Greg De Vries  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
11:52
COL
Ian Laperriere  Cross checking against  Jordin Tootoo
11:52
COL
Ian Laperriere  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Jordin Tootoo
15:33
COL
Cody McLeod  Hooking against  Jordin Tootoo
2nd Period
11:48
COL
Daniel Tjarnqvist  Hooking against  J-P Dumont
14:57
COL
Paul Stastny  Tripping against  Jerred Smithson
17:42
NSH
Greg De Vries  Hooking against  Ruslan Salei
3rd Period
11:39
NSH
Scott Nichol  Hooking against  TJ Hensick
goalie stats
Peter Budaj
SA: 24TOI: 59:10
Saves: 21EV: 20 - 22
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 2
SV%: .875SH: 0 - 0
Pekka Rinne
Pekka Rinne
5-0-0
SA: 21TOI: 60:00
Saves: 19EV: 16 - 16
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 3
SV%: .905SH: 1 - 2
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