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WHEN/WHERE

March 28, 2016 / Game 76
Pepsi Center / Denver, CO

HIGHLIGHTS

An insurance marker by Shawn Matthias in the third period came up huge for the Avs on Monday night in Nashville. At the time, Matthias’ goal gave Colorado a three goal lead (4-1), but it actually ended up being the game-winning goal. Despite a near catastrophic collapse late in the final frame, the Avalanche ended up with two huge points in the standings after defeating the Predators, 4-3.

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Colorado wanted to come out strong in this one after their disappointing effort at home against Minnesota on Saturday, and they did just that — scoring three goals in the opening period of play. But before the scoring started, alternate captain Jarome Iginla dropped the gloves with Preds’ defenseman Barret Jackman to set the tone on the night.

At the 6:36 mark of the first, Blake Comeau took advantage of a bad Predators pass in their own zone to score his 100th career NHL goal and 12th of the season, unassisted. A few minutes later — at the 10:10 mark, Avs’ captain Gabriel Landeskog punched in his 19th goal of the year, assisted by Carl Soderberg and Comeau. Then, only one-minute-and-thirty-seconds later, Colorado’s fourth line gave the Avs a 3-0 lead, when Jack Skille scored his 8th goal of the season on a rebound from a Cody McLeod shot — Andrew Agozzino picked up the other assist on the play, in his first game since being recalled from San Antonio on Sunday.

Craig Smith scored his 20th goal of the season at 17:08 of the first to get one back for Nashville, and the score was 3-1 going into the first intermission.

The pace in the middle part of the game settled down, as no one scored again until Matthias’ goal later in the third period. The eventual game-winner was his 10th goal of the season — assisted by Mikkel Boedker at 12:13 of the third.

Colorado seemed to have had this one under control until the Predators came on late to score two goals 24 seconds apart to get back within one of the Avs. Colton Sissons scored at 14:58 of the third, and then Roman Josi scored another at 15:22.

It was a nerve racking finish to the game but in the end, Colorado leaves Nashville with an extra two points and head into St. Louis tomorrow to try and do the same.

THREE STARS

  1. Gabriel Landeskog, COL — 1 goal
  2. Craig Smith, NSH —  1 goal
  3. Blake Comeau, COL — 100th career goal, 1 assist

PLAY OF THE GAME

TURNING POINT

There were two points in this game that turned the momentum around. The first was Jarome Iginla fighting with Jackman early in the first period. The Avs went on to score three goals shortly after they saw their veteran leader drop the gloves.

The second turning point was this goal by Colton Sissons that gave the Predators life late in the third period:

QUOTE OF THE GAME

“We had a really good start. I was really pleased with the start we had. It was a chance for us to play a strong game and prove that we are not going to give up. That’s what I told these guys before the game — all year, we never give up. We are always resilient after losses and we’ve been playing well on the road. I thought our guys responded really well, they had a really good start — it was a team effort. I thought it was the type of start we wanted to have.”

-Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy

BY THE NUMBERS

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LASTING IMPACT

Colorado (82 pts)  gains two points in the standings and now sit three points behind the Minnesota Wild (85 pts) for the 8th spot in the Western Conference. Both teams have played 76 games going into Tuesday night.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Avalanche play the second of back-to-back road games on Tuesday night when they visit the St. Louis Blues. Puck drop is at 6:30pm MT and the game will be televised nationally on NBCSN.

Note: Minnesota will play host to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night at 6:00pm MT / 7:00pm CT.

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Nick Bracken

Covers DU Hockey, Colorado Avalanche and Colorado Rapids for BSNDenver. Nick can be followed @nickbracken303 on Twitter. He enjoys watching any live sports on TV and playing hockey and golf in his free-time. Chris Drury is his all-time favorite athlete.