|NSH||1||1||1||(0 - 0)||3|
|COL||0||0||2||(0 - 0)||2|
DENVER (AP) - Pekka Rinne made 27 saves and the Nashville Predators beat the Colorado Avalanche, 3-2, on Thursday night to close in on a playoff spot.
Martin Erat had a goal and an assist and Colin Wilson and Jordin Tootoo also scored to help the Predators win for the ninth time in 11 games. Nashville passed idle Anaheim in the Western Conference standings, jumping from seventh place into a tie for fifth with Los Angeles at 94 points with four games left.
The Predators took a 3-0 lead when Erat scored on the power play with 7:08 left, his 16th goal of the season, and then had to survive a late rally by the Avalanche.
Stastny scored his 22nd goal with 6:25 left to make it 3-1, and Elliott left for an extra skater and Jones scored with 1:02 left to make it a one-goal game.
Elliott again was pulled in the final minute but Colorado couldn't get the equalizer despite a flurry around Rinne in the closing seconds of the contest.
Wilson got the Predators on the board first with his 16th goal of the season. Matt Halischuk sent a pass from behind the goal to Wilson, who deflected it over Elliot's right shoulder with 4:25 left in the first period.
The Predators dominated the second period, outshooting the Avalanche 18-5 in the frame and keeping the play in Colorado's end for a good portion of the 20 minutes.
They finally cashed in when Tootoo made it 2-0 midway through the period. Tootoo positioned himself in the slot and redirected Cody Franson's shot from the point past Elliott for his sixth goal of the season.
NOTES: The Avalanche recalled defenseman Cameron Gaunce from Lake Erie of the American Hockey League on Thursday morning, as Colorado played again without defensemen Adam Foote (leg) and Ryan Wilson (knee), both of whom are being listed as day-to-day. .... Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco said that Foote wouldn't join the team on its one-game road trip to Phoenix. ... The first penalty wasn't called until Jones went off for tripping with 8:27 left in the second period. ... Colorado did not receive a power-play opportunity during the game.
|Colin Wilson (16) ASST: Matt Halischuk (6), Blake Geoffrion (2)|
1 - 0 NSH
|Jordin Tootoo (6) ASST: Cody Franson (19), Martin Erat (32)|
2 - 0 NSH
|PPG - Martin Erat (16) ASST: Mike Fisher (14), Sergei Kostitsyn (26)|
3 - 0 NSH
|Paul Stastny (22) ASST: Milan Hejduk (33), Matt Duchene (35)|
3 - 1 NSH
|David Jones (26) ASST: John-Michael Liles (38), Kevin Porter (10)|
3 - 2 NSH
|David Jones Tripping against Ryan Suter|
|Ryan O'Byrne Hi-sticking against Jonathon Blum|
|Cody McLeod Roughing against Patric Hornqvist|
|David Legwand Roughing against Erik Johnson|
|Erik Johnson Roughing against David Legwand|
|SA: 29||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 27||EV: 27 - 29|
|PIM: 0||PP: 0 - 0|
|SV%: .931||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 34||TOI: 58:50|
|Saves: 31||EV: 27 - 29|
|PIM: 0||PP: 4 - 5|
|SV%: .912||SH: 0 - 0|