Jan 11, 2014; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog (92) celebrates his goal with teammates during the second period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Avalanche hold off late run by the Nashville Predators, 5-4


The Colorado Avalanche (31-12-5) came into Nashville hot as they scored three first period goals, but Nashville rallied back scoring three unanswered late in the third giving the Avs a scare as Colorado escaped with the 5-4 win.

Defenseman Nick Holden came in off of a rebound attempt that was shot by Nathan MacKinnon and Holden slapped it in for the 1-0 lead for his third of the season. The assists would go to Nathan MacKinnon and Paul Stastny who returned to the action tonight after sitting out with a leg injury. With 8:33 left in the first period, defenseman Jan Hejda took a slap-shot from the right boards and looked as if it deflected off of Nashville’s Eric Nystrom for the goal. John Mitchell and Maxime Talbot would get the points on the goal as the Avalanche took the early 2-0 lead.

Just 38 seconds later, Gabriel Landeskog knotted his 14th goal of the season as Nashville couldn’t clear the pluck. Paul Stastny and Nathan MacKinnon would pick up their second assists of the night to make it 3-0. The Predators would get on the board in the second period on a 5-on-3 as Patric Hornqvist connected on the power-play for his 10th goal of the season. Mike Fisher and David Legwand would pick up the points as Nashville trailed 3-1.

The Avs would pick up where they left off in the first period as they began the  third with a goal, the second of the game from Nick Holden for his fourth of the season. John Mitchell and Cody McLeod would record the assists as the Avs took a commanding 4-to-1 lead. Exactly four minutes later, Matt Duchene would score on the power-play as the center connected for his 17th goal of the season on the assists from Nick Holden and Ryan O’Reilly. In just under two minutes later, Nashville’s Craig Smith scored on the rebound attempt from Roman Josi as he picked up his 15th goal of the season, on the assist from Nick Spaling and Roman Josi. The Predators would trail 5-to-2 at this point and needed more offense quick.

Ryan Ellis of the Predators would score his 3rd of the season on a slap-shot from the point to reduce the lead to a three goal game as the goal as unassisted, Avalanche leading 5-3. Just under five minutes later Roman Josi would put one home on a rebound attempt for his 5th goal of the season on the assist from Viktor Stalberg and Ryan Ellis as the Predators trailed 5-4. The Avs would hold off the Preds late run as they came away with the victory, 5-4.

Three Stars:

3: Nathan MacKinnon (COL): 0 goals, 2 assists, 1 shot.
2: Paul Stastny (COL): 0 goals, 2 assists, +1, 3 shots.
1: Nick Holden (COL): 2 goals, 1 assist, 9 hits.

The Colorado Avalanche (31-12-5, 67 points) are back in action Tuesday night as they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at home. Puck-Drop is scheduled for 9:00 PM ET, 7:00 PM MT.

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