Predators 4, Avalanche 1: Nashville gets the jump on Colorado

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 10: Ryan Ellis #49 of the Nashville Predators celebrates his first period goal with teamates Mike Fisher #12 and Patric Hornqvist #27 of the Nashville Predators against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on January 10, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Getting a strong 60-minute effort is nice, but sometimes the right 20 minutes will do.

The Nashville Predators kept up their dominance over the Colorado Avalanche tonight, winning their 6th-straight over the Avs by a 4-1 score. Ryan Ellis and Martin Erat led the scoring parade with a goal & an assist each as the Preds led 3-0 after one period, while Pekka Rinne made 32 saves to push his record to 21-11-4. Nick Spaling got the opening goal, while Patric Hornqvist scored his 12th of the season to kill off Colorado's comeback attempt.

Follow after the jump for video highlights & reaction...

First the video (might take 30-45 minutes post-game to work):

Your random observations:

  • Could we have asked for a better first period? The lines all showed some jump, Ryan Ellis & Roman Josi looked dynamite on the power play, and the Preds dominated possession by a 2-to-1 margin en route to the big lead.
  • Boy, that second period was predictably awful, though, as Colorado outshot Nashville by an 18-6 margin, and could have made it a game were it not for some standout saves from Pekka Rinne.
  • It's good to see Gabriel Bourque continuing to make an impact with his speed and pesky puck-pursuit attitude, as sometimes you see that for a game or two out of a guy in his first NHL callup, only to have the adrenaline wear off.
  • Ryan Ellis looks more self-assured with each passing game, but his size is a concern. There was one particularly tough shift in the second period in which he, Francis Bouillon and Craig Smith were powerless to break up a Colorado cycle.
  • Hornqvist's goal was a joy to see, I love to see him wind up and take wristers, and a goal like that can really get a guy feeling confident about taking more of those.
  • Craig Smith only played 10:36, including just 4 shifts in the second period, and 3 in the third. Doghouse material?
  • Mike Fisher and David Legwand went a combined 9-for-32 in the faceoff circle. For tonight, it was the young guns leading the way.

Box Score - Game Summary - Event Summary - Corsi Numbers

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