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Rinne, Josi help Predators defeat Avalanche

Goalie makes 20 saves, defenseman gets goal, assist after missing past three games with injury

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Pekka Rinne made 20 saves, and Roman Josi had a goal and an assist in his return for the Nashville Predators in a 4-1 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday.

Josi, who missed three games with a lower-body injury, scored his first two points of the season.

"Good to be back," Josi said. "Obviously every time you're hurt, you miss playing with the guys and being on the ice for games. It felt good to be back, and more importantly we got the win."

 

[WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Predators highlights]

 

The Predators (3-2-1) improved to 3-0-0 at home. Colorado (4-3-0) are 2-3-0 on the road.

Josi gave the Predators a 2-1 lead at 13:30 of the second period on the power play. He got to the loose puck in a scramble around the net and beat Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov for his first goal. Varlamov had 30 saves.

"I think the key is just getting shots to the net," Josi said. "We're doing a good job with that right now, moving the puck around and getting shots. [Scott Hartnell, Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson] are doing a great job in front of the net." 

Colton Sissons gave the Predators a 3-1 lead with 44.6 seconds remaining in the second period. 

Video: COL@NSH: Josi tallies slick second-chance goal

Austin Watson gave the Predators a 4-1 lead at 4:08 of the third period on a rebound off the boards by Alexei Emelin. He beat Varlamov for his first goal.

Nathan MacKinnon gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead at 4:09 of the second period on the power play. He attempted a pass through the slot that went off Josi and past Rinne for his first goal.

"We've got to keep grinding," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "We've got to keep finding a way to improve our group every day. Certainly, some of our decisions will have to improve, but once again I think there's another level some of our guys can still get to from a competitive standpoint." 

Arvidsson tied the game 1-1 at 7:07 with his third goal of the season.

"We have some new players that got in in the summer, and I feel like everybody is starting to play our game plan," Arvidsson said. "We've gotten better and better. That's a big thing. Now we've got to go on the road and try to win some games too." 

Video: COL@NSH: MacKinnon slips home PPG through traffic

 

Goal of the game

The goal by Sissons came on a stretch pass from Josi to Craig Smith that led to an odd-man rush. Sissons joined the rush and made a forehand-to-backhand move that beat Varlamov through the five-hole.

Video: COL@NSH: Sissons goes five-hole on Varlamov

 

Save of the game

Rinne stopped a Mikko Rantanen one-timer with 11.2 seconds remaining in the second period to keep the game 3-1. Rantanen was near the right face-off circle, and Rinne slid across the crease to his glove side to make the save.

 

Highlight of the game

Arvidsson's goal was the result of a play started by Emelin in the defensive zone. He blocked a cross-ice pass attempt and Forsberg started a 4-on-1 rush and eventually found Arvidsson.

Video: COL@NSH: Arvidsson slips backhander past Varlamov

 

They said it

"I didn't mind our start. I thought our first period was OK. Neither team got a whole bunch going offensively in the first period. Low shots, low chances for and against, so a good road period. The start of the second wasn't that bad either, and then I just felt like we had some questionable decisions." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

 

"I feel like we got going in the second, and we had some long shifts in their zone and tried to pin them down there. I feel like we shot the puck more in the second and got more chances out of that." -- Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson

 

Need to know

Defenseman Tyson Barrie's assist on MacKinnon's goal gives him six points (two goals, four assists) in seven games. … The Predators have a seven-game winning streak against the Avalanche that dates to March 28, 2016. … Forsberg had two assists to give him 200 points for his NHL career. … Predators forward Nick Bonino missed the game with an undisclosed injury. Forward Frederick Gaudreau was recalled from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League. … The Avalanche won 35 percent of their face-offs (19 of 54).

 

What's next

Avalanche: Host the St. Louis Blues on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; FS-MW, ALT, NHL.TV)

Predators: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; FS-TN, NBCSP, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Arvidsson, Predators power past Avalanche, 4-1

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