Colorado is in Nashville tonight. I'm extremely pleased to report that I lucked into the Altitude feed tonight. Having to endure Terry Crisp for two hours might have made me snap tonight.
Arnason is out tonight. The way Haynes and McNab were talking, it sounded more like an injury than a well-deserved healthy scratch. Hlinka will be at center tonight (after getting a little taste at the position last night). Ian Laperriere returns (that's good news), as does Jordan Leopold (oh, yay).
20:00 For the first time in several games, it's not the Stastny line to start the game. It's Guite, MCormick and Lappy.
19:10 That, by the way, is the 3rd line tonight (gulp). Hensick is a scratch so that the Avs can dress 7 defensemen. Hlinka will center the 2nd line (Brunette and Wolski), leaving Svatos and Richardson in no-man's land.
18:46 It's a hand injury for Arnason.
17:32 I must have missed them announce the starting goalies, but it's Mason and Budaj.
17:08 "and let's take a look at our starting goaltenders". Nice timing, guys.
16:28 Smyth double-shifts with Richardson and Svatos.
16:10 Interesting – the Preds are using 7 D as well.
14:40 First shot of the game (Smyth, kicked aside by Mason)
11:53 Hlinka's backhander becomes the 2nd shot.
8:25 I assume Leopold's been out there at some point, but I haven't seen him.
5:51 Two on one, Wolski and Brunette. Not much of a chance, but there's been little to write about this period at all.
4:47 I've been looking for Leo, but have yet to notice him on the ice.
2:24 There he is, out with Cumiskey.
2:07 Meanwhile, I don't believe the Avs have gotten it across center ice in the last 2 minutes or so.
1:28 Weber makes a gorgeous play to knock away a centering pass by Hlinka. He was aiming at Wolski in front of the net.
0:00 The period ends 0-0. It was extremely dull, although picked up slightly towards the end.
20:00 6 shifts for Leopold, so I guess he was out there more than I noticed. Haynes says they want to use Leopold on the powerplay, which seems odd to me since he didn't play much on the PP before he was injured.
18:42 Smithson interferes with Clark, but doesn't get a penalty.
16:25 Smyth sets up a golden chance for Richardson. He charges hard to the front of the net. He's stopped, but he leaves the puck right in the crease. Richardson charges in, but can't get to the loose puck before Zanon clears it away.
15:22 Lappy gets a breakaway. Mason stops it, and Lappy's rebound attempt.
15:02 Tootoo gets a hard check on Finger in the corner.
13:48 There's a wild scramble in front of the net. Bonk gets called for hooking – first PP of the game.
13:27 And it's Liles and Wolski on the point. Seven defensemen, and you can't find two to play on the PP?
12:30 Terrific shorthanded chance for the Preds – he gets to a cleared puck long before any Avalanche player. Budaj is in trouble, but Stastny gets back at the last moment to break it up.
11:44 Clark goes end to end, weaving through traffic, and gets a shot on Mason that fools the goalie a bit.
11:16 McCormick springs Guite with a beaut of a headman pass. Guite is rockin' a sweet fu-manchu. I make sure to point it out to my wife, as she is not quite down with my own fu. (To be fair, Guite's looks about 100 times better than mine)
10:23 Odd man, Stastny and Smyth. De Vries breaks up the pass.
8:06 McCormick has gone to the locker room with some sort of upper body injury. I saw him skate off quickly, but not the hit.
7:36 The Preds seem to score, but the ref waves it off, saying the play was blown dead. To put it mildly, that was a rather fortuitous call for the Avalanche. That was a goal. And, something we’ve seen a lot this year, they review the play even though it's not a reviewable play. I'm floored: a team has shelled out $100 bucks to get a headset for the ref, so they don't have to put that goofy beige phone to their ear. No goal. Again, big break for the Avs.
5:15 Good play by Leopold to poke check the puck away on a big scoring chance.
5:10 Richardson gets clobbered by a big hip check from Haimous
3:47 Lots of action in each end right now.
1:48 Brunette tries that shot off the faceoff like he scored on a couple of games ago against San Jose.
0:00 And it’s 0-0 after two. The Avalanche have no goals in 5 periods against Mason this year.
20:00 "that's 5 straight periods without a goal for Mason this season against the Avalanche". You guys don't even need me.
19:25 Laperriere fakes a shot and dishes a great pass to McCormick who went straight to the net. Mason stacks the pads and stops it. Quenneville and Cloutier are asking the refs to review, but no dice. Meanwhile, penalty on Shea Weber for holding.
18:39 Wolski and Liles on the point. Wolski gets pressured and turns it over behind the net and Stastny has to hook someone to break up a scoring chance. Liles seemed to get shaken up on the play, but didn't leave the bench.
15:02 Wow. Smyth unloads from the faceoff circle, and it goes through Mason's 5-hole. Mason just flubbed it there – no reason at all for that one to have gone in. 1-0 Avalanche.
10:34 Budaj makes a save, the puck lands dangerously in front of him. Guite gets there to clear the puck out of the zone.
8:28 Budaj makes about 3 or 4 stellar saves on Radulov. Also in the segment, Legwand has a wide open net and misses high. The lead is preserved. (I almost wrote another word there, but didn't want to jinx anything)
7:56 Finger goes off for interference on Bonk.
7:04 Pretty snow-angel save by Budaj. Big rebound, but no one is there.
6:41 Another big save. Hannan pushes Fiddler away before he could get to the rebound.
3:35 Great shift for Guite. He gets to a dump in before anyone else, gets back to center ice to break up a play, and hits someone along the boards on the way off the ice. Plus, the 'stache is boss.
3:15 2-0! Lappy! Hlinka circles around the net and centers to Lappy in front of Mason. It's a terrific pass, and Hlinka's 2nd assist of the night.
2:00 McCormick also assisted on the Lappy goal, his first point of the season.
1:26 Quenneville is laughing with someone on the ice. I have no idea who, but it's amusing to watch.
:48 Mason is off.
:19 Sigh. No shutout. Budaj was able to stop Skrastins deflection attempt a few seconds earlier, but couldn't get to a shot by Radulov from the slot through traffic.
:18.8 Again, McNab is amazed to see the Guite line on the ice at the end of the game. It makes perfect sense to me.
:20 They add a few seconds to the clock. Quenneville is no longer laughing on the bench.
:16 Guite wins the draw and gets it down the ice.
:02 There was a centering pass to Arnott that hits his stick. But he couldn't quite control it. That could have been disastrous.
:00 Would have been nice to see a shutout here, but I'm still glad to see the win.