Predators-Avalanche Preview

The Associated Press

The low-scoring Nashville Predators got plenty of shots on goal in their last game, but they couldn't pull out the victory.

That hasn't been the case lately against the Colorado Avalanche.

Nashville goes for a 10th straight victory in this series and a fifth in a row in Denver on Monday when the Avalanche try to avoid a fourth consecutive home loss.

Last in the NHL in goals per game (1.87) and shots (22.7 per contest), the Predators (7-3-5) fired a season high-tying 34 shots on Saturday but they finished a 2-1-1 homestand with a 3-2 shootout loss to Anaheim.

After his career-best 155:06 shutout streak ended in the first period, Pekka Rinne stopped just one of three attempts in the tiebreaker. He had shutouts in each of the previous two games and in each of the Predators' last three victories.

Nashville hosts Detroit on Tuesday, but Rinne should be in net again for coach Barry Trotz as he has a 0.97 goals-against average in his last eight starts. Rinne is 8-0-0 with a 1.93 GAA in his last nine appearances against the Avalanche (5-7-1) after turning aside 84 of 89 shots in four games (three starts) in 2011-12 to help Nashville earn its second consecutive season sweep.

The Predators have an 18-5 scoring edge during their winning streak in Denver.

Colorado, meanwhile, returns home after one of its worst efforts of the season, Saturday's 6-4 loss to Edmonton. The Avalanche led 3-0 in the first period and 4-1 early in the second before losing for the fourth time in five games.

"We got what we deserved tonight,'' coach Joe Sacco said. "We gave up close to 60 shots tonight (The Oilers had a club-record 56), which is something we are obviously not proud of as a group. We need to make sure we respond the right way from this. Losing is losing and you are going to lose some games, but not the way that we lost tonight. It was unacceptable.''

So is his team scoring four total goals during the home skid.

The Predators, 3-0-1 in their last four outside Nashville, are yielding a league-low 1.67 goals per contest.

"We will look to respond tomorrow against a very good Nashville team," Colorado defenseman Shane O'Brien told the team's official website following Sunday's practice. "There is nothing you can do but move forward."

Semyon Varlamov has lost seven of eight starts following Saturday's career-best 50-save performance, but he'll start again on Monday. However, Sacco might not have as much patience as backup Jean-Sebastien Giguere will be available after missing Saturday's game due to personal reasons.

Colorado's Matt Duchene has a chance to match a career high by scoring a goal in four consecutive games. He has five goals and two assists in a seven-game point streak against the Predators.

Nashville captain Shea Weber, who scored his first goal of the season and 100th of his career on Saturday, has two goals and seven points in his last nine games against Colorado.

The Predators have outscored the Avalanche 39-17 since their last loss in this series, 2-1 in Denver on Jan. 22, 2010.

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