But the referees decided to take it away, making a goaltender interference call on Patric Hornqvist that didn't just erase Suter's goal, but gave Colorado a power play to disrupt Nashville's momentum at the time. The Predators couldn't connect on another tying goal, and ended up going home with their third consecutive defeat.
Follow after the jump for video highlights and reaction...
Last night in Phoenix was one of "those games" that happens every season, in which one team out-shoots the other 2-to-1 but comes up short on the scoreboard. This was another one of "those games", but an entirely different sort; the kind where unpredictable officiating disrupted the flow of the contest to the point where it became nearly unwatchable. After not taking a single penalty against the Coyotes, the Preds took 10 calls resulting in 9 Colorado power plays. The constant special teams work prevented the typical rollover of various lines, reminiscent of the early days after the Great Lockout, when NHL teams struggled to adjust to new officiating standards.
It should be noted that the mind-boggling calls weren't one-sided, and that the Predators put themselves in a hole by missing offensive opportunities (like out-shooting Colorado in the 1st period 12-4) and committing ghastly defensive-zone turnovers. A combination of good-enough penalty killing, along with one fine play with the man advantage that led to a Cody Franson goal, helped keep the game close heading into the 3rd period.
Once there, Nashville started mounting pressure on a consistent basis, and even after the Hornqvist goalie interference call, he came back and hit a goalpost during a last-minute scramble in the Avalanche zone. That wasn't enough, however, and the Preds will now have to wait until February 4th to get another crack at beating the Avs, that time in Nashville.
Hopefully a trip to Columbus on Tuesday can help them get things back on the right track in the meantime.
The Preds return home Saturday, January 30 vs. the Atlanta Thrashers. For discounted tickets to this or any other Nashville Predators home game, you can follow this link and use the special offer code "PREDS".
No advanced even-strength stats for tonight, I'll see if I can provide them tomorrow.