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Wilson's 4-point game leads Predators over Avs

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson was looking for a game to get him going again.

He didn't expect it to come against the hottest team in the NHL, but he'll take it.

Wilson scored two goals and added two assists and left winger Viktor Stalberg scored a goal and an assist to lead the Predators to a 6-4 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.

The Avalanche (12-2) fell a game short of making NHL history. Colorado was trying to match the 2007-08 Ottawa Senators and set a franchise record for the best 14-game start in league history.

"It feels terrible and we've felt this twice this year and it feels awful," Colorado center Matt Duchene said. "It feels that much worse. When you're used to losing, it's just another game, but when you're used to winning it hurts that much more."

Colorado's run at NHL history was spoiled by a porous defense and the opportunistic Predators, who took advantage of a rare poor outing by goaltender Semyon Varlamov. Varlamov allowed a season-high five goals on 27 shots.

"I'm sure he would love to have the third one back but I thought the goals he gave up were not his fault," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "We didn't play as well as normal as a unit of five in front of him."

Colorado pulled Varlamov for an extra skater with over a minute left and left winger Gabriel Bourque scored into the empty net.

Goalie Carter Hutton had 27 saves for Nashville.

The Avalanche trailed 4-2 in the second when they rallied to tie it. Center Paul Stastny got one back with 6:23 left in the period, and Duchene tied it with his 10th of the season 4:23 into the third.

Wilson answered with his second goal and fourth point of the game with 12:26 left in the game.

"I felt the pressure on my back and I was going to slip it five-hole but decided to move it really quick to my backhand," Wilson said of the game-winner.

It was the second time Wilson had four points in one game. The last time was March 8, and the next day he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury.

"Obviously it was great getting some numbers, getting the puck in the net, just to remember I can do it," he said. "It was a while ago that I got injured, so it was good to get back at it."

The Predators (8-5-2) had taken the lead on goals from center Paul Gaustad and Wilson early in the second.

The game got heated with 2:27 left in the first period when Colorado left winger Jamie McGinn left his feet to hit Nashville rookie defenseman Seth Jones Bourque went after McGinn and knocked him to the ice before officials stepped in.

"I thought McGinn left his feet there," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "It looked like (John) Mitchell was chasing him around the net and Seth reversed it. You could see Seth was putting the brakes on, he's got his back turned, he's exactly what we talk about being a vulnerable player. My opinion doesn't matter, it's what the league sees. I just thought he hunted him out and he was a vulnerable player, and that's what we're trying to take out of the game."

Jones was on the ice for a few moments before skating to the bench. He returned later in the period.

"My face kind of went into the boards, bit my teeth a little bit but my head was fine," Jones said. "I was (worried) but I kind of knew right away when it happened. I went directly to my teeth and I didn't have a headache."

McGinn's hit put the Predators on a power play, and they cashed in when center Craig Smith scored from the slot with 56 seconds left in the first to give Nashville a 2-1 lead.

The teams traded goals earlier in the first. Stalberg one-timed a pass from Wilson to give Nashville a 1-0 lead with 6:48 left. Colorado answered two minutes later when left winger P.A. Parenteau finished an odd-man rush with Duchene.

NOTES: Colorado LW Alex Tanguay will miss two weeks with a knee injury. Tanguay was injured in the second period of Saturday's 4-1 win over Montreal and didn't return. ... Nashville C Mike Fisher missed his first game with a lower-body injury and C Matt Hendricks missed his second game with an upper-body injury. Fisher and Hendricks are considered day-to-day. ... Avalanche LW Jamie McGinn returned to the lineup after missing three games due to a knee injury. D Nick Holden, who played forward in McGinn's absence, was a healthy scratch. ... The Avalanche allowed a power-play goal for the second straight game.
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