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Nashville’s late flurry comes up short

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Jan 19, 2014


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The Nashville Predators fell to the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena, but not before nearly charging back from a four-goal deficit.

In Devan Dubnyk’s debut in net for the Predators, Nashville went down 3-0 very early in the first period and for most of the game never threatened.

With twelve minutes left in the game, Colorado held a 5-1 lead over the Predators and appeared to be coasting to victory.

At 8:14 of the third period, Craig Smith beat Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov to close the gap to 5-2. Four minutes later, Ryan Ellis blasted a shot by Varlamov to make the score 5-3. At 17:03, Roman Josi made it a one-goal game at 5-4.

While Nashville came no closer to winning, the late flurry of goals certainly made the game interesting.

“We didn’t play too well in the first, but the second and third, we really picked it up,” Ellis said. “We out-chanced them, out-shot them, but obviously it’s not the outcome we wanted.”

As the clock wound down, with the extra attacker, Nashville managed to put a couple of shots on Varlamov, but he saved them both. Perhaps adding insult to injury, Shea Weber beat Varlamov with a slap shot at the end of the second period, but the replays showed that the puck did not cross the line prior to time expiring and the goal was overturned. If the puck had been shot just a few tenths of a second earlier, Nashville might have walked out of the building with at least a point.

“It’s tough enough down three in the first, but coming all the way back in the third period shows the character of this team,” Ellis said. “We’ve been doing a much better job lately as far as competing, just a couple of times the outcome is not there.”

Over Nashville’s last 12 games, they have earned points in eight of them. In three of the remaining four – including Saturday night – the Predators lost by just one goal. Nashville currently sits in eleventh place in the Western Conference, ten points out of the final playoff spot.

“I think we’ve been playing really well,” Ellis said. “It was a tough one for us to swallow there, especially since we battled so hard at the end. There’s going to be games like that and we just have to battle through them. We almost did tie it up there.”