for this game

Budaj makes 31 saves to lead Avalanche past Predators

Dec 16, 2007 - 6:20 AM
By Dave Reed PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DENVER (Ticker) -- Peter Budaj was very good in a victory at Nashville on Thursday. He was even better against the Predators on Saturday night.

Budaj stopped 31 shots, including 17 in the first period, and also recorded an assist on the game-winning goal as the Colorado Avalanche skated past the Predators, 3-1, to complete a sweep of the home-and-home series.

The Predators controlled play for most of the first period and had a golden opportunity to get on the board first when Scott Nichol had a shorthanded breakaway with 7:35 left. But Budaj came out to challenge and stopped Nichol's wrist shot from the inner edge of the right faceoff circle.

"They're just not going in right now," Nichol said. "We've been taking it to the net and playing hard in the real tough areas. We're creating a lot of opportunities. It just seems like we make one or two mistakes and they're in our net."

"They came out really hard, especially in the first period," Budaj said. "They threw everything at the net, they created some chances. A couple of times, I was out of position and the guys made some tremendous blocks."

Colorado and Ottawa are the only teams in the league that have not allowed a shorthanded goal this season.

The Avalanche scored on their first shot of the second period, a one-timer by Paul Stastny from between the circles at 4:06 that beat netminder Chris Mason to the glove side. Ryan Smyth took a lead pass from Milan Hejduk and carried into the offensive zone along the left wing boards before finding Stastny.

Stastny has 29 points in 16 home games. He and linemates Smyth and Hejduk have combined for 35 points in the last eight contests overall.

The goal came 87 seconds after Ian Laperriere injected some life into a listless Colorado team by fighting with Vernon Fiddler.

"I think it was a good fight," Laperriere said. "It's part of my game, and when I feel it's the time to do it, it's the time to do it. It had started a period earlier. In the first period, we started talking."

Marek Svatos gave the Avalanche a 2-0 lead with 5:10 remaining in the second period, when he put the rebound of his own shot over Mason's left shoulder from the inner edge of the left circle.

Smyth recorded the primary assist for his eighth multi-point game of the season.

Nashville halved the deficit 53 seconds later as Martin Gelinas buried the rebound of Nichol's shot from above the right circle. Gelinas shook off defenseman Brett Clark at the top of the crease and put the puck into an open net before Budaj could recover.

The Avalanche added an insurance tally with 9:07 remaining. Defenseman Jordan Leopold blasted a slap shot from just inside the blue line that found its way between the pads of Mason as Andrew Brunette screened the netminder.

"It was a nice way to contribute," said Leopold, who played in his second game after missing 21 due to a wrist injury that required surgery. "It wasn't a beautiful game, it was kind of ugly, but it's two points and we'll take it."

Colorado improved to 13-3-0 at home and 13-1-0 when leading after two periods at the Pepsi Center.

Mason made just 13 saves for the Predators, who lost for the fifth time in six games.

"We've been playing pretty good hockey and we're just not getting results," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "It is getting a little bit frustrating because the guys are putting in the effort."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 1 0 1
    COLORADO 0 2 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 14 (RYAN SMYTH, MILAN HEJDUK) 4:06
    COL - MAREK SVATOS 10 (RYAN SMYTH, PETER BUDAJ) 14:50
    NAS - MARTIN GELINAS 5 (SCOTT NICHOL, MAREK ZIDLICKY) 15:43
    3RD PRD: COL - JORDAN LEOPOLD 1 (WO

    Dec 15 11:28 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 1 0 1
    COLORADO 0 2 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 14 (RYAN SMYTH, MILAN HEJDUK) 4:06
    COL - MAREK SVATOS 10 (RYAN SMYTH, PETER BUDAJ) 14:50
    NAS - MARTIN GELINAS 5 (SCOTT NICHOL, MAREK ZIDLICKY) 15:43
    3RD PRD: COL - JORDAN LEOPOLD 1 (WO

    Predators vs. AvalancheDec 15 11:28 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 1 1
    COLORADO 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 14 (RYAN SMYTH, MILAN HEJDUK) 4:06
    COL - MAREK SVATOS 10 (RYAN SMYTH, PETER BUDAJ) 14:50
    NAS - MARTIN GELINAS 5 (SCOTT NICHOL, MAREK ZIDLICKY) 15:43
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Dec 15 10:34 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 1
    COLORADO 2
    2ND PRD: NAS - MARTIN GELINAS 5 (SCOTT NICHOL, MAREK ZIDLICKY) 15:43

    Predators vs. AvalancheDec 15 10:26 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 0
    COLORADO 2
    2ND PRD: COL - MAREK SVATOS 10 (RYAN SMYTH, PETER BUDAJ) 15:43

    Predators vs. AvalancheDec 15 10:25 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 0
    COLORADO 1
    2ND PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 14 (RYAN SMYTH, MILAN HEJDUK) 4:06

    Predators vs. AvalancheDec 15 10:06 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 0
    COLORADO 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NAS 18 18
    COL 5 5
    GOALIES: NAS - CHRIS MASON
    COL - PETER BUDAJ

    Dec 15 9:42 PM