Preds beat Avs 5-3 |

Preds beat Avs 5-3

Brent W. New
Associated Press
Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen is congratulated by teammates as he passes the team box after scoring a goal against the Colorado Avalanche in the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, in Denver. Nashville won 5-3. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER — Ryan Johansen and Austin Watson each had a goal and an assist, leading the Nashville Predators to a 5-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.

Viktor Arvidsson, Mike Fisher and Kevin Fiala also scored, and Roman Josi had two assists for the Predators.

Pekka Rinne stopped 37 shots, improving to 17-7-2 in his career against the Avalanche. He also finished the month 9-1-2.

Johansen and Watson scored in the first 2:42 of the third period to put Nashville up 5-2. The Predators have won eight of 11.

Mikko Rantanen and Rene Bourque each had a goal and an assist, and Mikhail Grigorenko also scored for Colorado, which is 0-2-1 on a five-game homestand.

Calvin Pickard, starting in place of Semyon Varlamov for the second consecutive game, stopped 28 shots before he was pulled with 1:50 remaining. Pickard is 4-2-1 in seven starts this season.

Arvidsson put Nashville up 2-1 just 7 seconds into the second period. He took an expert pass from P.K. Subban and beat Pickard on the glove side. It tied franchise record for the quickest goal to a start a period, according to the team.

Fiala made it a two-goal advantage 3:04 into second, but Bourque cut it to 3-2 with his eighth of the season.

Fisher put the Predators ahead with 5:08 left in the first. After Colorado turned the puck over in its own zone, the Nashville captain took a pass from Austin Watson and placed it under Pickard’s armpit for his fifth goal of the season.

Rantanen tied it 66 seconds later for Colorado.

NOTES: Nashville LW James Neal (upper-body injury), the team’s leading goal scorer, missed his second consecutive game. He had 10 goals before he was placed on injured reserve Saturday. . D Ryan Ellis and forward Colton Sissons are also on IR with upper-body injuries for the Predators. . Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog (lower body) missed his sixth straight game. … Varlamov has been cleared to return from a wrist injury but served as Pickard’s backup. . Colorado RW Jarome Iginla appeared in his 1,495th game, tying Phil Housley for 17th on the career list.

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