Nashville, Tenn. (AP) — Philip Forsberg had two goals and one assist to lead the Nashville Predators to the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 on Thursday night in a game among rosters devastated by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Tanner Jeannott made an assist and added, and Roman Josie and Mattias Ekholm also scored. Jus Saros made 24 saves for Nashville, extending the season-best winning streak to six games. Colton Sissons had three assists.
Mikko Rentanen had one goal and one assist, and Valery Nichushkin also scored for Colorado. Pavel Françoise made 30 saves and AVS ended a five-game winning streak.
Both teams were missing players laid down in the league’s COVID-19 protocol. Colorado lost the black Capricorn shortly before faceoff and used just 16 skaters – two fewer than usual. AVS also produced an emergency backup goaltender. Seven players were sidelined under protocol in Nashville.
Forsberg scored first of the opening period at 13:23, with a wrist shot from right point through traffic to beat François on the short side.
Françoise saw his first NHL action since March 11, 2020, after sustaining hip and ankle injuries.
Nashville took a 2-0 lead on Zenot’s power-play goal at 7:21 of the second. Forsberg had the puck on the left faceoff dot and sent a pass to Sissons, who stood to the left of François. Sissons made a quick touch pass to Jeanette in the slot, where he linked on a one-timer for his seventh goal of the season.
Colorado responded with a power-play goal at 9:57 of the second. Nazem Qadri’s shot from the top of the left circle was deflected from a Nashville skate and landed on Rantenon’s stick at the right faceoff dot, where he beat Saros with a one-timer.
Forsberg struck again at 16:48 of second. Skating in the Colorado zone with Zenot at 2-on-1, Forsberg attempted to pass Zenot in the slot, which went past Colorado defenseman Samuel Girard and sticks past François.
The Avalanche scored a goal in 9:12 of the third, when Nichushkin scored just after the Colorado power play ended, but Josie’s man-gain goal at 12:19 of the third restored Nashville’s two-goal lead. done.
Ekholm’s empty net goal limited the scoring with just over a minute to spare.
With Colorado adding five players – Andre Burakowski, JT Komper, Devon Toes, Darcy Kuyper and Makar – to the COVID-19 protocol list, Avalanche lineup due to lack of pay caps and the late nature of COVID-19 Thursday night was two skaters short. related scratches. Colorado wore 11 forwards and five defensemen.
Just before the warmup, Avalanche announced that Kumper entered COVID protocol. Nashville-area emergency backup goaltender Dustin Smith filled in as Franco’s backup in the game. Smith played goaltender for Middle Tennessee State University’s club team from 2006–09.
Makar followed Kumper’s announcement, which was made just before the game’s opening faceoff.
Avalanche defender Jack Johnson did not play his first innings until 14:06 was the first finish while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.
newcomers behind the bench
With seven players on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list along with Nashville’s entire coaching staff, the Predators had to take the unusual step of recalling both players and coaches from the AHL’s Milwaukee on Thursday. Admirals coach Carl Taylor and assistant Scott Ford were behind the Nashville bench and were joined by Predators’ assistant general manager Scott Nicholl.
Nathan McKinnon extended his point-scoring streak to nine games, with an assist in Rantenon’s second period power-play goal. During the streak, McKinnon scored two goals and 12 assists.
what will happen next
Predator: A trip to Chicago on Friday.
Avalanche: Hosts Tampa Bay Saturday.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports