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Predators go for 7 in a row when they visit Colorado

by Dan Rosen /

PREDATORS (13-8-1) at AVALANCHE (14-7-3)

Last 10 -- Predators 8-2-0; Avalanche 4-5-1

Season series -- This is the second of four meetings between the clubs this season. Nashville rallied for a 3-2 win over the Avs on Oct. 8 behind a pair of third-period goals from Patric Hornqvist just 2:17 apart.

Big story -- Nashville takes its season-high six-game winning streak into the PepsiCenter, where the home team has won seven of nine games this season. The Avalanche snapped a two-game losing streak with a 5-4 win over Philadelphia on Monday. The Predators beat Detroit 3-1 to match their longest winning streak last season. They last won six in a row from Feb. 21-March 5 before losing 4-1 at Philadelphia.

Team Scope:

Predators -- The team that couldn't score on the power play through the first 17 games of the season has been lighting it up over the last five. The Predators had seven power-play goals in 63 chances before this current winning streak began, but went 8-for-24 in their just-concluded five-game homestand, which ended with Monday's win over the Red Wings. Nashville is now 11-0-0 when scoring a power-play goal. The best part is they have spread the scoring around, be it on even strength or with a man-advantage. Sixteen players have combined for 33 goals in the last 12 games and the Predators are 10-2-0 in that span. Ten players combined for only 17 goals in the first 10 games (3-6-1).

"I give a lot of credit to Peter Horachek, who's in charge of the power play," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "He's spent a lot of time with the guys, showing them stuff, and talking through it. They're committed to making it work. The extra effort and the extra time that they've put into it is paying off."

Avalanche -- Colorado hung on for a desperately needed win on Monday after back-to-back losses in Western Canada to Edmonton and Vancouver. Before Monday's win, the Avs had won just once in their last six games and only three times in their previous 10, but they remain in first place in the Northwest Division with 31 points, two more than second-place Calgary. Paul Stastny had a goal and two assists in the 5-4 victory over Philadelphia. Defenseman Scott Hannan suffered a neck injury when Danny Briere cross-checked him high (earning a two-game suspension), but the injury could be short-lived as coach Joe Sacco said Hannan may be able to play. Fellow defenseman Adam Foote, who has missed three straight games with a jaw injury, could also be back in the lineup against the Predators. Craig Anderson is expected to start his 23rd game of the season.

"We wanted to make sure (Hannan) had some rest (Tuesday)," Sacco said according to the team's Web site. "He woke up today feeling much better. We're hopeful to have him back in the lineup (Wednesday) night."

Who's hot -- For Nashville, Steve Sullivan has six points in the last five games after getting just six in the first 16 games, and David Legwand has seven points in the last six after gaining just four points in the first 16 games. Martin Erat has 3 goals and an assist in the last two games while goalie Pekka Rinne has won six straight games and is 10-1-0 in his last 11 appearances dating to Oct. 22. For Colorado, David Jones has 4 goals and an assist in the last three games and Wojtek Wolski has an assist in each of the last four games. Leading scorer Stastny had a goal and a pair of assists Monday.

Injury report -- The Predators don't have any injuries worth noting. The Avs list forward Matt Hendricks on injured reserve with a groin injury while Hannan is questionable with his neck injury, though all signs are pointing to him playing. Foote will be back.

Stat pack: Stastny has 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists) in nine home games this season. He is 0-7-7 in 15 road games. … The Predators current six-game winning streak is tied for second behind the club's all-time best eight-game win streak, which occurred at the start of the 2005-06 season. … For as good as the Predators power play has been, their penalty kill has been just as impressive. They have killed 30 of 34 opportunities against (88.2 percent) since Nov. 7. They were 27th in the NHL on the PK on Oct. 29, but finished Monday's game ranked 17th.

Puck drop -- "I think the turning point was the long road trip," Rinne said of the team's four-game trip (2-2-0) before their five-game homestand. "We came together and played some good teams, so when we came home and won against some good teams, it just gave us the confidence to keep growing and growing. Hopefully we can keep it going."

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