NASHVILLE -- Its playoff hopes dwindling after three straight losses, Nashville put together a desperate third period rally to leapfrog into a tie for 8th place in the Western Conference.
David Legwand's rebound goal at 18:46 snapped a 1-1 tie and lifted the Predators to a 3-1 win Tuesday night over Colorado in Bridgestone Arena.
Paul Gaustad tacked on an empty-net tally at 19:45 for Nashville (15-14-8), which jumped over Columbus and Edmonton to match St. Louis' 38 points. The Blues have three games in hand on the Predators.
Both teams were playing their third game in four nights and it showed at times during a scoreless first 40 minutes.
Nashville generated most of the chances in the first period with an 11-7 advantage in shots, but Colorado suffered a tough break when Jamie McGinn's wrister less than four minutes into the game clanked off the crossbar.
While the Avalanche controlled play for a majority of the second period, the Predators missed a great opportunity during a power play in the last two minutes. Jean-Sebastien Giguere came up with quality saves on blasts from Patric Hornqvist and Shea Weber.
Colorado finally got on the board at 1:01 of the third period when Matt Duchene snapped an 18-footer past Pekka Rinne after splitting two defenders. It was the fifth straight game in which Nashville allowed the first goal.
But Hornqvist supplied the equalizer on a power play at 8:23, poking a rebound through a forest of skates and by Giguere. The goal survived a lengthy video review.
The Predators peppered Giguere with seven shots in the next five minutes, but the veteran goalie stood tall. He denied Chris Mueller and Taylor Beck on point-blank opportunities to keep the game even.
However, Giguere couldn't keep Nashville from winning a game it had to have.
NOTES: Nashville scratched center Mike Fisher (hand) and left wing Gabriel Bourque, its top goal-scorer with 11. Bourque suffered an upper-body injury Monday night in Chicago after a hit by Daniel Carcillo. ... Right wings David Jones (knee) and Chuck Kobasew (back) were scratched for Colorado, while Milan Hejduk (shoulder) and Paul Stastny (foot) remain on injured reserve, putting the Avalanche over 100 man-games lost this year. ... The Predators are in the middle of a rare stretch of five games in seven days, which concludes with a home-and-home against Chicago on Saturday and Sunday night. ... Colorado defenseman Ryan O'Byrne appeared in his 300th career match Tuesday evening.