Girard, Avalanche rally to defeat Predators in OT for 4th win in row
NASHVILLE — Samuel Girard scored after 4:17 of overtime, and the Colorado Avalanche rallied to defeat the Nashville Predators 3-2 at Bridgestone Arena on Friday.
Girard scored from the left circle in a 2-on-1 after receiving a pass from Evan Rodrigues for his first goal in NHL overtime.
“We fought, we won, we scored few goals,” said Rodrigues. “Even if we’re down, the boys think we can come back.”
Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist, and Alexander Georgiev made 37 saves for the Avalanche (19-11-2), who have won four straight games, including a 1-0 in a shootout against the New York Islanders on Monday and a 2-1 in overtime against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.
“It feels great,” said Georgiev, who started for the fifth consecutive year. “Nothing has been easy in the last few games. Every win felt really special because it was a draw every time. It’s overtime or a one-goal game or a penalty shoot-out. Great work from the guys who are sticking with it and have the championship character.”
Video: [email protected]: Rodrigues sets up Girard’s overtime winner
Matt Duchene scored for the fourth consecutive year, and Juuse Saros made 43 saves for the Predators (14-13-5), who won their last two games but have been 2-4-3 in their last nine.
“I thought we started pretty well,” said the Nashville forward Ryan Johansen said. “I liked our first period and [we] I just got away from it. Somehow made self-inflicted mistakes, gave them some momentum and impetus. Then later in the third we had a good break. There’s a good hockey club over there. You are a good team. It was a tough game. Still, it was good to get at least a point.”
JT Compher Tie 2-2 at 3:05 p.m. of the third period, with a missed point deflected Arturi Lehkonen from above on the fold.
“It would have been an easy night to go into the break to probably pack it up, but that’s not what our group is about,” said Colorado coach Jared Bednar. “There are many excuses they could come up with, but they keep coming back to work and finding ways to win hockey games. It was a great group effort and I’m pretty proud of them up to this point in the season.”
Video: [email protected]: Compher redirects the puck home to level the game
Johansen gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 12:26 of the first period by recording a rebound on a power play.
It’s the third straight game that Nashville has scored a power-play goal after a six-game man-advantage drought.
“[The power play] was pretty good,” said the Predators’ captain Roman Josi said. “Not just the goal, in general we moved it pretty well. … I feel like we’re getting more shots into the net. We have seen further [Johansen’s] Tor, get some rebounds and that’s huge.”
Duchene made it 2-0 at 6:22 of the second period, receiving a pass from Cody glass on the left post before you score the top shelf.
Rantanen reduced to 2-1 at 12:46 p.m Logan O’Connor undressed Nashville defender Dante Fabbro of the puck and passed the shot to Rantanen from the right circle. It was his team’s best 23rd goal of the season.
REMARKS: avalanche forward Valery Nikhushkin did not play in the third period and went forward after suffering a lower body injury Martin Kaut left early in the third with an undisclosed injury. Bednar didn’t have an update on either player after the game. … Duchene extended his scoring streak to five games (four goals, one assist) and has 12 points (11 goals, one assist) in 12 career games against the Avalanche, who picked him No. 3 in the 2009 NHL draft. … predators to the front Thomas Novak had one assist to extend his points streak to three games (one goal, two assists) since being recalled from Milwaukee on December 19 of the American Hockey League.