for this game

Predators' third-period comeback ends Avalanche's playoff hopes

Apr 8, 2007 - 6:21 AM
DENVER (Ticker) -- Paul Kariya put the final nail in the coffin against his former team.

David Legwand tied the game 8 1/2 minutes into the third period and Kariya netted the game-winner 2:20 later as the Nashville Predators eliminated the Colorado Avalanche from playoff contention with a 4-2 victory.

J.P. Dumont tallied twice and Peter Forsberg added a pair of assists for the Predators (51-23-8), who finished fourth in the Western Conference and will host the San Jose Sharks in the conference quarterfinals.

"We just wanted to end on a good note," Forsberg said. "That's what happens. What do you want us to do, lay down?"

The loss ended the quest for the eighth and final postseason berth in the West for Colorado (43-31-7), which entered trailing Calgary by three points. The Flames (43-28-10) fell to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, but the Avalanche's setback rendered Sunday's regular-season finale against Calgary at the Pepsi Center insignificant.

"We could have had a little run there, but I guess it was too late," Colorado's Ian Laperriere said. "But you can take a lot of positives out of it. We have a great bunch of guys here. We'll play one more game here, and hopefully next year, most of us will be back."

"There was a ton on the line for them," Legwand said. "They needed to win and it was a good feeling to end the season on a winning note."

The Avalanche, who failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in 12 seasons, carried a 2-1 lead into the third period. But Legwand tallied at 8:38 and Kariya, who spent the 2003-04 campaign with Colorado, scored his 24th goal less than 2 1/2 minutes later to give the Predators a 3-2 edge.

"We just wanted to come out here and do the right things and get in playoff hockey mode," Legwand said. "We knew we had to battle back in the third and we got the second one and third one and we finished it off at the end."

Dumont, who got Nashville on the board midway through the first, sealed the win with an empty-netter in the final minute.

"I thought it was a good character win for us," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "It showed a lot of pride. ... We finished strong, which has been a real strength of our hockey team this year."

With their playoff chances still intact, the Avalanche grabbed a 1-0 lead at 5:25 of the first period. Former Nashville defenseman Karlis Skrastins received a pass in the left faceoff circle and skated below the end line before throwing the puck in the crease, where Milan Hejduk knocked it in for his fifth goal in as many games.

But Dumont knotted the contest with 7:15 left in the opening session, netting his 20th goal of the campaign from the doorstep off a feed from behind the net by Vernon Fiddler.

"I'm pretty happy about it," Dumont said of reaching the plateau for the third straight season and fifth in six campaigns. "With four games left, I was at 19 and was definitely looking for it."

After gaining control of the puck in the left corner, Andrew Brunette skated behind the net to the bottom of the right circle before firing it past goaltender Tomas Vokoun, giving Colorado a 2-1 edge.

Legwand drew the Predators even when he slid the puck between netminder Peter Budaj's pads, and Kariya converted a feed from former Colorado teammate Forsberg less than three minutes later to give Nashville its first lead.

"Jordin (Tootoo) made a good pass to the middle, and that was something we exploited and we took advantage of during the game," Legwand said of his tally.

"Peter made a great play and (Scott) Hartnell dug it out of the corner and got it to him," Kariya said. "It was a Forsberg pass, through two people and right on the tape."

Captain Joe Sakic had a pair of assists for the Avalanche, who had won four in a row and nine of their previous 11 games.

"The way we played down the stretch, I think the guys grew up a lot," Sakic said of Colorado's younger players. "We just have to build on it for next year. It just took us a while to adjust and to come together. ... Unfortunately, we didn't make the playoffs this year, but the guys are going to learn from this and, going into training camp, are going to know how to win."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 1 0 3 4
    COLORADO 1 1 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - MILAN HEJDUK 35 (KARLIS SKRASTINS, JOE SAKIC) 5:25
    NAS - JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT 20 (VERNON FIDDLER, PETER FORSBERG)
    12:45
    2ND PRD: COL - ANDREW BRUNETTE 26 (JOE SAKIC, WOJTEK WOLSKI) 4:09
    3RD PRD: NAS - DAVID LEGWAN

    Apr 7 11:26 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 4
    COLORADO 2
    3RD PRD: NAS - (EN) JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT 21 (UNASSISTED) 19:46

    Predators vs. AvalancheApr 7 11:26 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 17 roots

    Predators vs. AvalancheApr 7 11:26 PM
  • 17
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 17 roots

    Predators vs. AvalancheApr 7 11:23 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 3
    COLORADO 2
    3RD PRD: NAS - PAUL KARIYA 24 (PETER FORSBERG, SCOTT HARTNELL) 10:58

    Predators vs. AvalancheApr 7 11:13 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 2
    COLORADO 2
    3RD PRD: NAS - DAVID LEGWAND 27 (JORDIN TOOTOO, KIMMO TIMONEN) 8:38

    Predators vs. AvalancheApr 7 11:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 1 0 1
    COLORADO 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - MILAN HEJDUK 35 (KARLIS SKRASTINS, JOE SAKIC) 5:25
    NAS - JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT 20 (VERNON FIDDLER, PETER FORSBERG)
    12:45
    2ND PRD: COL - ANDREW BRUNETTE 26 (JOE SAKIC, WOJTEK WOLSKI) 4:09
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Apr 7 10:34 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 1
    COLORADO 2
    2ND PRD: COL - ANDREW BRUNETTE 26 (JOE SAKIC, WOJTEK WOLSKI) 4:09

    Predators vs. AvalancheApr 7 10:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 1 1
    COLORADO 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - MILAN HEJDUK 35 (KARLIS SKRASTINS, JOE SAKIC) 5:25
    NAS - JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT 20 (VERNON FIDDLER, PETER FORSBERG)
    12:45
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NAS 10

    Apr 7 9:44 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 1
    COLORADO 1
    1ST PRD: NAS - JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT 20 (VERNON FIDDLER, PETER FORSBERG)
    12:45

    Predators vs. AvalancheApr 7 9:32 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 0
    COLORADO 1
    1ST PRD: COL - MILAN HEJDUK 35 (KARLIS SKRASTINS, JOE SAKIC) 5:25

    Predators vs. AvalancheApr 7 9:17 PM