Wilson’s four-point night spurs Preds to victory

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Coming into the night, the Colorado Avalanche had allowed just 19 goals all season.

You wouldn’t know it when watching this game, however.

In front of 14,043 inside Pepsi Center in Denver, the Nashville Predators served the Avs just their second loss of the season, beating them 6-4. Colorado has now allowed 25 goals this year, 28 percent of which have come against the Preds.

GoaltenderĀ Carter Hutton got his fifth-straight start and improved to 4-1-1 on the year on a 27-save performance.

In the opening period, the Predators had plenty of scoring chances. Viktor Stalberg hit iron on a routine wrist shot from the top of the face off circle then, moments later, Nick Spaling had Semyon Varlamov down and out but put his shot off the far post. Finally, a few minutes later, Stalberg hit pay dirt when Wilson fed him a backhand pass from behind the net.

The Avalanche tied things up after going 150 feet on an odd-man rush. The play started at the other end of the ice when Seth Jones tried to hit Colin Wilson with a cross-ice pass but it was intercepted. Colorado broke the other way 2-on-1 and PA Parenteau got the equalizer despite a ferocious backcheck by an exhausted Wilson.

Before teams retired to the locker room for the first intermission but after Jamie McGinn blasted Jones from behind, Nashville would take the lead. Craig Smith potted his third of the season when Wilson found him from behind the net.

At the start of the middle frame, Colorado got another odd-man rush and another goal. Parentau carried through the neutral zone and over the blueline before dropping it for Ryan O’Reilly who put it up and over Hutton to make it a 2-2 game.

Moments later, however, Nashville answered. Filip Forsberg corralled a puck along the boards and fired it on net. Paul Gaustad was able to deflect it through Varlamov’s legs to make it 3-2.

While on the power play, the Predators extended their lead to two on a goal by Wilson. Ryan Ellis had the puck at the point and faked his dreaded slapper, instead passing to Wilson at the side of the net. The former Boston University Terrier made no mistake and slid it into a partially open net to make it 4-2.

In the final moments of the second, Paul Stastny pulled his team within a goal once again. On a goal Hutton would like to have back, McGinn carried into the Nashville zone before feeding Stastny with a centering pass. Stastny wouldn’t get much on it but, somehow, it found the back of the net.

Despite defensemen Erik Johnson sitting in the box for a misconduct and Ryan Wilson not on the bench, the Predators couldn’t keep the Avs off the board. Early in the third stanza, Matt Duchene broke into the attacking zone, made a move to avoid Kevin Klein, and put it past Hutton to knot things at 4-4.

The Predators just kept coming though. Stalberg created a turnover in the Avalanche zone and hit Wilson in the slot for his second goal of the game.

Gabriel Bourque would add the empty netter as the Predators would hold off the Avalanche in their own barn.

With the victory, Nashville improved to 8-5-2 on the year and have secured five of a possible six points on the road trip thus far. On Friday, they’ll try to make it seven of a possible eight when they take on the Jets in the MTS Centre.

Puck drops in Winnipeg at 7:00pm Central.