DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche are muscling their way through the early part of their schedule.
Two games, two wins and a couple of tussles that drew the ire of the opponent.
Semyon Varlamov had 26 saves in another strong performance and P.A. Parenteau scored twice as the Avalanche beat the Nashville Predators 3-1 on Friday night.
Patrick Bordeleau had a goal and rookie Nathan MacKinnon followed his solid NHL debut with another assist for the Avalanche.
Paul Gaustad scored and Pekke Rinne stopped 33 shots, but it wasn't enough as the Predators dropped their second game in as many nights.
Like the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday, the Predators left Denver with a sour taste. The Ducks took umbrage with Avalanche coach Patrick Roy's actions at the end of that game when he barked at players and coaches and nearly pushed down the glass partition between the benches.
The league fined him $10,000 for his behavior.
Friday, The Predators were upset when Steve Downie left his skates to deliver a hit on Roman Josi that knocked the defenseman out of the game with an upper body injury in the second period.
"We're trying to get all of that out of the game, launching yourself, especially the head shots," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "If you watch the film it's pretty self-explanatory and the league will handle it correctly. There will be something to come out of it I think."
Shea Weber and Gabriel Bourque jumped on Downie before the officials broke it up. The Avalanche ended up with a power play when Weber was give four minutes for roughing, one of three penalties by the veteran defenseman on the night.
"On the replay it looked like he left his feet on the ice," Weber said of Downie. "I'll have to watch it, but yeah, he's a great player and we're going to miss him. Hopefully he can come back very soon."
The Avalanche had a different view of Downie's hit.
"That was a great hit. I need to look at it, but I thought it was a fair check," Roy said.
The hit overshadowed the homecoming for Nashville rookie Seth Jones, who was the fourth overall pick in the June amateur draft. Jones grew up in Denver and was considered a top prospect last year.
"I've got a lot of friends here still," he said. "It's good to come back and remember where it all started."
One of his friends is MacKinnon, who was taken three spots before him in the draft. The two were on the ice for many shifts but kept the chatter to a minimum.
"It's a cool story line for sure. We're buddies," MacKinnon said. "We've known each other since we were 13 or 14 years old and we kind of went up all the way through together. But we're buddies and there's not too much of a rivalry between us."
Jones' return to his hometown had a sour start. He was on the ice when Parenteau gave Colorado a 1-0 lead late in the first period. Parenteau, who led Colorado in goals scored last season, knocked in Jamie McGinn's rebound with 1:10 left before intermission. Rinne made the initial save but Parenteau was on the crease when the puck bounced to him. It was his first goal of the young season.
"It was a great play by Jamie McGinn, keeping it in there and shooting at the net," Parenteau said. "It was a strong effort and I was there to get the rebound."
Bordeleau made it 2-0 when he tipped in Nate Guein's shot from the point at 7:54 of the second period.
"It's just one of those plays where it just goes in," Rinne said. "I think it hit the post and went in. It was a good tip for him. Our guy, Gaustad, was trying to block the shot and it went through his legs."
The Predators made it a 2-1 game with a goal just as their power play was expiring. Gaustad got the puck in the slot, spun and put a screened shot past Varlamov at 14:10 of the second period.
Nashville managed 10 shots in the third period and couldn't get the equalizer.
Parenteau sealed it with an empty-net goal with 1:12 remaining.
"We had a great look with about a minute and a half to go in the game," Trotz said. "We score there and we might be talking overtime. Missed there, they get an empty net."
NOTES: Avalanche C Gabriel Landeskog (leg injury) was scratched from the lineup. Marc-Andre Cliche took his place and played on the fourth line and recorded his first NHL point with an assist on Bordeleau's goal. ... Friday was the second game of a back-to-back for the Predators. They have 14 scheduled this season. ... Roy was also assessed a game misconduct for his actions at the end of Wednesday's game. ... Nashville C Filip Forsberg was scratched with a lower body injury.
- Sports & Recreation
- Ice Hockey
- Nashville Predators
- Patrick Bordeleau
- Paul Gaustad