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Preds use late burst to stop Avalanche

Feb 13, 2011 - 6:51 AM
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Cody Franson's goal with 2:30 remaining in the third period proved to the game-winner, as the Nashville Predators beat the stumbling Colorado Avalanche, 5-3, at Bridgestone Arena.

Martin Erat registered a goal and two assists for the Predators, who have won three of their last four games. Pekka Rinne stopped 15-of-18 shots to pick up his 20th win of the season.

Kevin Porter scored a goal and set up another for Colorado, which went winless on its four-game road trip and has dropped seven in a row overall. Peter Budaj made 34 saves in defeat.

Matt Duchene skated down the left wing and blasted a slap shot behind Rinne at 2:54 of the third period to give the Avalanche a 3-2 lead, their second of the game.

Porter had opened the scoring in the first period, but Nashville countered only 11 seconds later. This time, the Predators netted the equalizer 1:17 after Duchene lit the lamp.

David Legwand held the puck behind the net and fed into the slot for Patric Hornqvist's one-timer at 4:11.

Franson gloved down a puck at the blue line and fired a shot that eluded Budaj to put Nashville up 4-3.

"We made a good play to get it up the wall and I tried to take it to the middle a little bit and try and lose the guy who was trying to check me," said Franson. "I just try tried to put it on net to give our forwards a chance for a rebound and lucky enough it went in."

Legwand's empty-net marker inside the final minute sealed the win.

Porter forced a turnover in the neutral zone, took a return feed from Paul Stastny and slid a backhander under Rinne's outstretched left leg 11:05 into the contest.

Weber's wrister from the right point found the back of the net a short time later.

Nashville connected on a power play to go up 2-1. Erat was denied on a point- blank bid from the slot. The puck wound up sitting on the goal line and Erat reached behind Budaj to nudge it in at 4:36 of the second period.

David Jones made a move from the left corner to the low slot and beat Rinne along the ice to even things up at 9:13 of the middle stanza.

Game Notes

Colorado's Peter Forsberg committed two minor penalties and finished minus-2...Mike Fisher collected an assist in his Nashville debut. The Predators acquired the 30-year-old forward from Ottawa on Thursday for two draft picks...Avalanche defenseman Cameron Gaunce made his NHL debut.