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Avalanche Falls To Predators 5-4

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche
DENVER (AP) - Marek Zidlicky scored a power-play goal with 6 1/2 minutes to play after Colorado goalie David Aebischer took a cheap penalty, helping the Nashville Predators stay undefeated with a 5-4 victory over the Avalanche on Wednesday night.

Rookie Marek Svatos scored his fifth goal in three games and Colorado dominated the first 30 minutes to take a 3-0 lead.

Shaky on both ends early, the Predators got a goal from Darcy Hordichuk and Zidlicky's first in the second period, then tied it early in the third on Paul Kariya's first goal against his former team. John-Michael Liles put Colorado back up three minutes later, then Steve Sullivan tied it at 4-all with a power-play goal from behind the net that appeared to bounce off Aebischer and into the net.

There wasn't much Aebischer could do about the goal, but the ensuing power play was certainly his fault.

With Simon Gamache skating from behind the net without a helmet, the Avalanche goalie punched him in the head as the forward skated by. The linesman in the corner had an easy call and Zidlicky needed only a few seconds of the power play to score from the top of the right circle, giving Nashville its third straight win to open the season.

It was a nice finish for the Predators after a sluggish start that included just three shots in the first period and a short-handed goal by Steve Konowalchuk on their only power play.

The second period featured more sloppiness early, leading to goals by Kurt Sauer and Svatos that put Colorado up 3-0. Then Nashville seemed to snap out of its funk, cleaning it up on the defensive end and putting more pressure on Aebischer.

Hordichuk scored Nashville's first goal at 7:53 of the second by wheeling around from behind the net and bouncing a shot off Aebischer's side into the goal. Zidlicky made it 3-2 three minutes later, scooping up a loose puck in the crease and beating Aebischer on his stick side.

Nashville didn't take long to tie it, with Kariya taking a nice feed from Scott Walker 1:22 into the third for his second goal this season. The Avalanche thought they had the lead back 22 seconds later when Svatos flipped in a rebound, only to have the goal taken away by the officials, who ruled after a review that the net had come off its moorings before the shot crossed the line.

Liles made sure less than three minutes later, one-timing a nice feed from Joe Sakic to put Colorado up 4-3, but Sullivan tied it 2 1/2 minutes later.

Notes: Sullivan played in his 600th career game. ... Sakic's assist was No. 863 of his career, putting him two behind Denis Savard for 19th on the all-time list.

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