|Predators host Avalanche in search of new win streak|
Nashville returns home Saturday evening in hopes of starting a new winning streak.
The Predators, who will host Colorado, saw their five-game winning streak come to a sudden end Thursday at Minnesota as the Wild scored four times in the final 6:56 to win 6-4. Nashville held a 3-0 lead with 7:13 remaining in the second period and a 4-2 advantage less than a minute into the third period before the Wild comeback.
The defending Western Conference champion's effort disappointed their coach, Peter Laviolette.
"Twenty minutes of hockey," the Predators coach told the Nashville Tennessean. "We left 40 somewhere else."
But even in the midst of the winning streak, the Predators were prone to allow comebacks. They held a 3-1 second-period lead last Saturday against Pittsburgh but needed a shootout to get two points in a rematch of last year's Stanley Cup Final. On Nov. 4, Nashville saw Los Angeles score three third-period goals to force overtime in a game the Predators won 4-3.
"You have to be as consistent as possible," said Ryan Johansen, who scored his first goal of the season in Thursday's loss, to NHL.com. "We've been doing a good job of finding ways to get wins, and tonight, we just have to learn from it and move on."
Speaking of moving, that's a topic all too familiar with Colorado. After playing two games against Ottawa in Sweden last weekend, the Avalanche returned home for the first time in two weeks Thursday and beat Washington 6-2.
In beating the Capitals, the Avalanche's top line of Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen combined for 12 points, with Landeskog netting his first career hat trick.
"Tonight, everything just kind of went in," MacKinnon said Thursday, which marked Colorado's first win since Nov. 4. "You know, we got together (in) the Chicago game and ... we've been going good ever since then, creating a lot of offense and yeah, we're feeling good."
Colorado has scored at least three goals in each of the last seven games, a streak that started with a 6-3 win over Chicago on Oct. 28. Over that span, the Avalanche's No. 1 line has registered 33 points.
The Avalanche have undergone a few changes over the last couple weeks. Most notably, the trade of center Matt Duchene to Ottawa as part of a three-way deal that involved the Predators. As part of that deal, Colorado received Vladislav Kamenev, a 21-year-old forward, and Samuel Girard, a 19-year-old defenseman, from the Predators.
Kamenev made his Avalanche debut Thursday, but it was short-lived as he suffered a broken arm in the second period. In 14 American Hockey Leagues games this season, he had registered three goals and nine assists.
It wasn't the way coach Jared Bednar wanted to see the rookie make his debut. "I know he wants to impress, and he's a little bit down in the dumps," Bednar said Thursday night.
"He suffered a pretty bad injury and is going to miss some time. But we know what we have in him, and he'll be back."
On Friday, the club called up Dominic Toninato from San Antonio to take Kamenev's place.
Saturday's game will be the second of four between the two Central Division clubs. The Predators held Colorado to just 21 shots in a 4-1 home win on Oct. 17. In March, the two teams will play twice in Denver.