for this game

Arnott scores twice as Mason blanks Avalanche

Oct 5, 2007 - 5:29 AM
By Jim Diamond PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- A pair of players serving new roles thoroughly impressed in the Nashville Predators' season opener.

Newly anointed captain Jason Arnott scored two first-period goals and new No. 1 goaltender Chris Mason made 34 saves Thursday to lead the Predators to a 4-0 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

After a tumultuous offseason that featured an announcement of the sale of the franchise, the current version of the Predators was anxious to prove it still can contend in the Western Conference.

The Avalanche looked weary following their home victory over the Dallas Stars on Wednesday and subsequent early-morning arrival in Music City, as Arnott scored the game's first goal at 4:31 of the opening period.

With Nashville on the power play, defenseman Marek Zidlicky's cross-ice pass found Arnott at the top of the left faceoff circle, and the hulking center one-timed it between the pads of netminder Peter Budaj for a 1-0 lead.

Arnott led the Predators in 2006-07 with 12 power-play goals, which also was a career high for the 32-year-old.

"We played well defensively, and that led to a lot of chances and our power-play goal," Arnott said. "We know that we have a lot of guys on this team who can score. It's not going to be one guy every night."

The Avalanche, who surrendered two power-play goals in three shorthanded situations Wednesday, allowed just the one in three chances in this one. They were tied for 23rd in the NHL in penalty-killing in 2006-07 at 80.2 percent.

Arnott doubled Nashville's advantage with 5:35 remaining in the first.

From the bottom of the right circle, J.P. Dumont slid a pass between the legs of defenseman Scott Hannan to Arnott. From the left side of the crease, he tapped the puck past Budaj for his second tally.

"If you give good players really good shots, they are going to put the puck in the net," Hannan said. "It's a tough way to start, and we just have to play our systems better."

Mason took over the top goaltending spot for Nashville when incumbent Tomas Vokoun was traded to the Florida Panthers over the summer. Mason gained the organization's confidence while filling in for the injured Vokoun last season, when he posted a 24-11-4 record in 40 games.

"I'm not going to lie, I was nervous last night," Mason admitted. "I really wanted to have a good start for myself and my team, and give them the confidence that things will be OK back there so they can go and do their jobs."

He continued his strong play Thursday, turning aside 15 shots in the first period, eight in the second and 11 in the third to record his ninth career shutout.

"(Mason) played well, but we weren't sharp around the net," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. "We had a couple opportunities that I didn't know how they didn't go in because, generally, we have that kind of finish."

Blue-liner Dan Hamhuis gave Nashville a 3-0 bulge early in the second period, skating into the left circle and converting a feed from Martin Erat at 1:45.

"After all of the off-ice distractions this summer, it was nice to just go out there and play," Hamhuis said. "We aren't questioning ourselves, but a lot of people from the outside are questioning our team, and to get a win right off of the start is a big confidence booster."

Dumont capped the scoring at 4:14 of the third, deflecting defenseman Greg de Vries' slap shot from the right point past Budaj. The goal spelled the end of the night for Slovakian netminder, who was lifted in favor of Tyler Weiman after making just 18 saves.

"That's how we are going to have to play this season if we are going to be successful," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "If we play that way every night, we are going to have a good chance to win a lot of hockey games."

Vernon Fiddler collected two assists for the Predators, who improved to 4-5-0 in season openers.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 0 0 0 0
    NASHVILLE 2 1 1 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - (PP) JASON ARNOTT 1 (MAREK ZIDLICKY, RYAN SUTER) 4:31
    NAS - JASON ARNOTT 2 (JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT, VERNON FIDDLER)
    14:25
    2ND PRD: NAS - DAN HAMHUIS 1 (MARTIN ERAT, DAVID LEGWAND) 1:45
    3RD PRD: NAS - GREG DE VRIES

    Oct 4 10:30 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 3RD 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 0 0 0 0
    NASHVILLE 2 1 1 4 END OF THE 3RD
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - (PP) JASON ARNOTT 1 (MAREK ZIDLICKY, RYAN SUTER) 4:31
    NAS - JASON ARNOTT 2 (JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT, VERNON FIDDLER)
    14:25
    2ND PRD: NAS - DAN HAMHUIS 1 (MARTIN ERAT, DAVID LEGWAND) 1:45
    3RD PRD: NAS - G

    Oct 4 10:29 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 0
    NASHVILLE 4
    3RD PRD: NAS - GREG DE VRIES 1 (JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT) 4:14

    Avalanche vs. PredatorsOct 4 10:03 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 0 0 0
    NASHVILLE 2 1 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - (PP) JASON ARNOTT 1 (MAREK ZIDLICKY, RYAN SUTER) 4:31
    NAS - JASON ARNOTT 2 (JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT, VERNON FIDDLER)
    14:25
    2ND PRD: NAS - DAN HAMHUIS 1 (MARTIN ERAT, DAVID LEGWAND) 1:45
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Oct 4 9:38 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 0
    NASHVILLE 3
    2ND PRD: NAS - DAN HAMHUIS 1 (MARTIN ERAT, DAVID LEGWAND) 1:45

    Avalanche vs. PredatorsOct 4 9:06 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 0 0
    NASHVILLE 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - (PP) JASON ARNOTT 1 (MAREK ZIDLICKY, RYAN SUTER) 4:31
    NAS - JASON ARNOTT 2 (JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT, VERNON FIDDLER)
    14:25
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COL 14

    Oct 4 8:45 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 0
    NASHVILLE 2
    1ST PRD: NAS - JASON ARNOTT 2 (JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT, VERNON FIDDLER)
    14:25

    Avalanche vs. PredatorsOct 4 8:36 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 0
    NASHVILLE 1
    1ST PRD: NAS - (PP) (EN) JASON ARNOTT 1 (MAREK ZIDLICKY, RYAN SUTER)
    4:31

    Avalanche vs. PredatorsOct 4 8:18 PM
  • 5
    roots
    ekabrazi Added 5 roots

    Avalanche vs. PredatorsOct 4 5:34 PM