Holden scores twice, Avalanche beat Predators 5-4

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 18, 2014 at 10:52 pm •  Published: January 18, 2014
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche and goalie Semyon Varlamov are playing so well this season that they're even winning in Music City.

Nick Holden scored two goals and had an assist and the Avalanche held off the Nashville Predators 5-4 Saturday night for their fourth straight victory.

Jan Hejda, Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene each scored a goal for Colorado, which is 8-1-1 over its past 10 games. The Avalanche earned their first win in Nashville since Jan. 6, 2009, ending a 0-6-1 skid.

Colorado center Paul Stastny said they did a good job surviving late, with the key jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first.

"Getting it to 3-0 was important for us especially in the past not doing well here," Stastny said. "Knowing we have a new team, new coach and new mentality I think we forgot about playing here and a fresh start for us."

Varlamov made 27 saves and improved to 11-0-5 in his past 16 games, tying the Avalanche record for consecutive games without a regulation loss.

The Predators scored three straight goals after trailing 5-1 in the third, and Roman Josi's goal at 17:03 gave them a chance to force overtime. But Varlamov stopped a flurry in the final minutes, including shots from Josi and Mike Fisher for the win.

"It's not important how the game ends," Colorado coach Patrick Roy said. "It's the result at the end. We won the game."

Patric Hornqvist, Craig Smith and Ryan Ellis also scored for Nashville, which snapped a two-game winning streak. Devan Dubnyk struggled in his Nashville debut after the Predators swapped forward Matt Hendricks to Edmonton for the goalie Wednesday.

"He got nervous and was rusty," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "I know Dubnyk has been in the league a long time, and I've seen a lot better games from him. But it was his first game. We gave him very little support early, and it just looked like he was nervous after that."

Colorado took control from the start with three goals in the first 12:05 with Holden beating Dubnyk with a wrister from the left circle off a rebound at 6:21 in the first.

Then the Avalanche scored twice 38 seconds apart with Hejda beating Dubnyk with a slap shot through traffic at 11:27, then Landeskog scored on a one-timer from the right circle at 12:05.

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