The Colorado Avalanche were in the “Music City” last night to take on the Predators with a prime opportunity to move up in the standings in the Western Conference. Entering the game, the Avs were sitting in a three-way tie with San Jose and L.A. that occupied the 8th, 9th and 10th spots in the West. With L.A. losing in Columbus and the Sharks treading in shallow water with Dallas, Colorado had a perfect opportunity to occupy the 8th spot all by themselves. The only thing standing in the way of that was the play of the Nashville Predators.
The Avalanche came out ready to pick up where they left off against Minnesota scoring with only 74 seconds ran off of the clock in the first period. After that goal, fans of the Avs were hoping that Colorado would make the most of last night’s chances, but the Preds buried the equalizing goal only a minute and a half later. Even after Nashville scored, the Avs looked to still have the majority of the momentum in the game. That seemed to change midway through the first when the Preds beat Semyon Varlamov for the second time.
With the game now at 2-1, Varly’s play became very crucial. The wind may have left the sails of the Avalanche’s attack just a bit, but Varlamov seemed to get stronger. The Predators could have easily scored two more goals in the first, but the outstanding plays made by the Avalanche net minder kept the game within reach. The play of Varlamov has been a hot topic not only in Denver, but around the league and last night, even though he was on the losing end of the contest, he was able to keep the game close and come through with some game-changing saves.
The Avalanche just came up a bit short at the end and could not solve the defense of Nashville nor their goalie Pekka Rinne. The goal that seemed to break the will of the Avalanche came with only 32 seconds left in the second period when the Preds scored their third straight goal and rode a 3-1 lead into the second intermission. Even Paul Stastny’s third period goal to pull the Avs within one, could not build up the much-needed momentum the Avalanche needed to find the equalizer.
Up next for Colorado are the Edmonton Oilers who come into Pepsi Center Saturday. With the Avs still only one point out of 8th, this is another big game. Each game from here on out is going to be HUGE for Colorado as the race for the final playoff spot only heats up.
1) (D) Suter NSH
2) (L) Kostitsyn NSH
3) (C) Stastny COL
Stay up to date with the points race by looking for the playoff prediction box at the end of each article.
|Points As of 3-9-12|
|7th||PHX – 76|
|8th||SJS – 75|
|9th||LAK – 74|
|10th||COL – 74|
|11th||CGY – 72|
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