Duchene leads Avalanche past Predators 6-5
DENVER (AP) — It took a disputed goal by Matt Duchene for the Colorado Avalanche to snap their string of nine straight losses to the Nashville Predators.
Colorado's star looked offside on his second-period goal in the Avalanche's 6-5 win in a Monday matinee, but the officials ruled Nashville had brought the puck back into their zone.
"The league already verified that it should have been an offside," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said shortly after the game.
"The explanation from the crew here was that we passed it back. We didn't pass it back. That's why they didn't blow the whistle. The league's already talked to us about it. There's no fix. It's just one of those things. Everybody has a bad day."
Including Nashville goaltender Chris Mason, who allowed six goals on just 18 shots before being replaced by Pekka Rinne, who turned back all 10 shots he faced over the final 24 minutes as the Predators made a furious rally from a three-goal deficit but came up just short.
When the Predators pulled their goalie and Shea Weber scored with 1:18 left to make it a one-goal game, Duchene's disputed goal loomed ever larger.
P.A. Parenteau had sent the puck up the ice and it deflected off Nashville defenseman Scott Hannan's stick and Predators forward Craig Smith's left skate on its way to a surprised Duchene, who looked over his shoulder before gathering it in and scoring as both Hannan and Smith pulled up.
Even Duchene expected to hear a whistle for being offside.
When he didn't, "I was shocked," Duchene said. "Even after I shot it, I thought maybe I missed something. Like I said, I didn't see the play. It might have been a good call by the linesman, but from what I heard, it wasn't."
This was one of the few breaks the Avalanche have caught this season.
"We're not complaining, that's for sure," Duchene said.
The Predators did.
Trotz vehemently argued the score, which put Colorado ahead 3-1.
By game's end, he had cooled off, resigned to the bad call that proved so costly.
"That's part of life, that's part of the game," Trotz said. "Certain things are going to happen and you can't control them. There was nothing we could control about it, we just had to play through it. We didn't. It threw us off for a bit."