Martin Erat and Ryan Ellis collected a goal and an assist apiece and Pekka Rinne made 32 saves as the Nashville Predators defeated the host Colorado Avalanche 4-1 on Tuesday in the opening game of a home-and-home series.
Patric Hornqvist secured the win with his team-leading 12th goal of the season at 15:34 of the third period. After an Avalanche turnover in their own end, Hornqvist was left all alone in the slot and snapped the puck just under the crossbar.
The Predators built a 3-0 lead in the opening period as Nick Spaling’s sixth and Ellis’ second goals of the season came 3:10 apart in the first eight minutes of play. Ellis’ marker came on the power play.
Erat added his ninth goal of the season when he wristed a laser over the glove of Semyon Varlamov. He has 10 points in his last 12 games.
Rinne improved to 21-11-4 on the season as the Predators won their second straight game.
Ryan O’Reilly put the Avalanche on the scoreboard with just 36 seconds left in the second period. O’Reilly got his 11th of the season on the power play by redirecting a mid-air pass from Paul Stastny.