NASHVILLE (AP) - Chris Mason made a career-high 42 saves for his fourth
career shutout as the Nashville Predators beat the Colorado Avalanche
1-0 Saturday night.
Mason, Nashville's backup goalie, improved to 3-1-0 with his fourth
career shutout and his first since April 11 at St. Louis. His previous
high for saves in a game was 38, also against Colorado, on April 4,
"I felt good right off the bat," Mason said. "I'm used to adjusting,
spot-playing every couple of weeks. It's just something you have to
prepare yourself for."
Nashville improved to 10-4-1 with seven of its victories - including
five of its last seven - by a single goal. Prior to Saturday, only
three teams (Buffalo, Dallas and New Jersey) had more wins by one
Scottie Upshall scored at 9:35 of the first period when his shot from the left
wing beat Avalanche goalie Jose Theodore to the glove side.
Theodore made 30 saves but lost for the first time in five appearances,
a stretch which dated back to Oct. 21.
"It was a good game on both sides," Theodore said. "The goal was kind
of a knuckleball. ... We played well defensively, we just couldn't get
Colorado averaged four goals per game in its previous eight but was
shut out for the first time since a 2-0 loss at Calgary on April
The Avalanche came in fifth in the NHL in average goals per game (3.4)
and second in shots. They surpassed their shot average by eight and
topped 40 for the fourth time.
Among their best scoring chances were two a little more than 1 minute
apart in the second period. At 5:19, Tyler Arnason got to the crease
and directed a pass from behind the net right on, but Mason was there.
Then Milan Hejduk
was stopped on a point-blank shot at 6:40.
"With this number of shots (and) the chances we had ... we're going to
score most nights," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said.
Nashville was whistled for three penalties in a span of 1:01 about 3
minutes into the game, but Colorado failed to take advantage. The
Avalanche did not get another power-play opportunity until 1:54 into
the third period, and finished 0-for-7 on the power play.
"Our best penalty-killer was our goaltender," Nashville right wing
Steve Sullivan said. "A lot of credit goes to Chris Mason. "
Notes: Colorado, which last played Tuesday at home, warmed up in its
practice uniforms because its game sweaters did not arrive with the
team Friday. The equipment was flown in and made it to the arena in
time for the game ... The Predators were at home for the first time
since Oct. 26 and improved to 3-1-1 at Gaylord Entertainment Center.
... Nashville recalled defenseman Greg Zanon prior to the contest
following a two-game conditioning assignment with Milwaukee of the AHL.
He logged 18:43 of ice time and had two shots on goal. ... Avalanche
center Joe Sakic failed to register a point for just the third time in
12 games and remained 15th in career assists, one behind Stan Mikita
(926). ... For the first time this season Nashville has gone
consecutive games without a power-play goal.