Predators-Avalanche Preview

The low-scoring Nashville Predators got plenty of shots on goal

in their last game, but they couldn’t pull out the victory.

That hasn’t been the case lately against the Colorado

Avalanche.

Nashville goes for a 10th straight victory in this series and a

fifth in a row in Denver on Monday when the Avalanche try to avoid

a fourth consecutive home loss.

Last in the NHL in goals per game (1.87) and shots (22.7 per

contest), the Predators (7-3-5) fired a season high-tying 34 shots

on Saturday but they finished a 2-1-1 homestand with a 3-2 shootout

loss to Anaheim.

After his career-best 155:06 shutout streak ended in the first

period, Pekka Rinne stopped just one of three attempts in the

tiebreaker. He had shutouts in each of the previous two games and

in each of the Predators’ last three victories.

Nashville hosts Detroit on Tuesday, but Rinne should be in net

again for coach Barry Trotz as he has a 0.97 goals-against average

in his last eight starts. Rinne is 8-0-0 with a 1.93 GAA in his

last nine appearances against the Avalanche (5-7-1) after turning

aside 84 of 89 shots in four games (three starts) in 2011-12 to

help Nashville earn its second consecutive season sweep.

The Predators have an 18-5 scoring edge during their winning

streak in Denver.

Colorado, meanwhile, returns home after one of its worst efforts

of the season, Saturday’s 6-4 loss to Edmonton. The Avalanche led

3-0 in the first period and 4-1 early in the second before losing

for the fourth time in five games.

“We got what we deserved tonight,” coach Joe Sacco said. “We

gave up close to 60 shots tonight (The Oilers had a club-record

56), which is something we are obviously not proud of as a group.

We need to make sure we respond the right way from this. Losing is

losing and you are going to lose some games, but not the way that

we lost tonight. It was unacceptable.”

So is his team scoring four total goals during the home

skid.

The Predators, 3-0-1 in their last four outside Nashville, are

yielding a league-low 1.67 goals per contest.

“We will look to respond tomorrow against a very good Nashville

team,” Colorado defenseman Shane O’Brien told the team’s official

website following Sunday’s practice. “There is nothing you can do

but move forward.”

Semyon Varlamov has lost seven of eight starts following

Saturday’s career-best 50-save performance, but he’ll start again

on Monday. However, Sacco might not have as much patience as backup

Jean-Sebastien Giguere will be available after missing Saturday’s

game due to personal reasons.

Colorado’s Matt Duchene has a chance to match a career high by

scoring a goal in four consecutive games. He has five goals and two

assists in a seven-game point streak against the Predators.

Nashville captain Shea Weber, who scored his first goal of the

season and 100th of his career on Saturday, has two goals and seven

points in his last nine games against Colorado.

The Predators have outscored the Avalanche 39-17 since their

last loss in this series, 2-1 in Denver on Jan. 22, 2010.