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Budaj, Avs Cool Streaking Predators

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche

DENVER -- Andrew Brunette and Wojtek Wolski each had a goal and an assist, and Peter Budaj stopped 34 shots to help the Colorado Avalanche beat the streaking Nashville Predators 4-3 on Tuesday night.

Tyler Arnason had a goal, and Joe Sakic added two assists. Sakic has 29 points in 29 career games against Nashville.

Milan Hejduk scored 46 seconds into the third period to give Colorado a two-goal lead. The insurance came in handy as Nashville's Steve Sullivan scored with 39.2 seconds after the Predators pulled goalie Tomas Vokoun with just over a minute remaining.

Jason Arnott and Paul Kariya scored for Nashville, which had a four-game winning streak snapped. The Predators lost for the first time in 16 games when Kariya scores.

Nashville has won 10 of 12 and still owns the NHL's best record (36-13-3).

Vokoun, who stopped 31 shots, lost for the first time in five starts since returning from a hand injury.

The Predators had an opportunity to get back into the game when Colorado's Ken Klee drew a four-minute penalty for high-sticking in the third period, but couldn't take advantage.

Budaj was back in goal for Colorado after Jose Theodore gave him a break against Detroit on Sunday. Budaj has started 17 of 21 games, posting an 11-4-2 record.

Kariya tied the game at 2 early in the second period with his 17th goal. Later, Wolski got loose in front and gave Colorado the lead again by scoring his 17th.

Arnott netted No. 18 late in the first period to cut Colorado's lead to 2-1. Sullivan assisted to stretch his point streak to eight games.

Brunette and Arnason had goals 4:04 apart to stake Colorado to an early two-goal lead.

Brunette waited for Vokoun to commit as Brunette came down the right side alone and then dribbled around the fallen goalie. It was Brunette's 18th goal.

Brunette, who played with the Predators for one season, scored the first goal in Nashville history on Oct. 13, 1998, against Carolina.

Arnason netted his 12th goal after Vokoun thought he had the puck trapped beneath him.

The Avalanche were coming off a 3-1 loss to Detroit in which they had just 12 shots, their lowest total since Feb. 7, 1999. Colorado had 15 shots in the first period against Nashville and finished with 35 overall.

Game notes
The Predators recalled D Kevin Klein from AHL Milwaukee. RW Alexander Radulov was sent to Milwaukee. ... Nashville is 18-10 on the road, matching the team record for wins. The Predators have 13 road games remaining. ... Martin Erat had his 34th assist of the season on Kariya's goal.


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