Marek Zidlicky scored a power-play goal with 6 1/2 minutes to play after Colorado goalie David Aebischer took a cheap penalty, helping the Nashville Predators stay undefeated with a 5-4 victory over the Avalanche on Wednesday night at Denver.
Rookie Marek Svatos scored his fifth goal in three games and Colorado dominated the first 30 minutes to take a 3-0 lead.
Shaky on both ends early, the Predators got a goal from Darcy Hordichuk and Zidlicky’s first in the second period, and tied it early in the third on Paul Kariya’s first goal against his former team. John-Michael Liles put Colorado back up 3 minutes later, then Steve Sullivan tied it at 4-all with a power-play goal from behind the net that appeared to bounce off Aebischer and into the net.
There wasn’t much Aebischer could do about the goal, but the ensuing power play was certainly his fault.
With Simon Gamache skating from behind the net without a helmet, the Avalanche goalie punched him in the head as the forward skated by. The linesman in the corner had an easy call and Zidlicky needed only a few seconds of the power play to score from the top of the right circle, giving Nashville its third consecutive win to open the season.
It was a nice finish for the Predators after a sluggish start that included just three shots in the first period and a short-handed goal by Steve Konowalchuk on their only power play.
Sharks 4, Blue Jackets 1: At San Jose, Calif., Wayne Primeau scored two goals, Evgeni Nabokov stopped 26 shots and San Jose won its home opener by defeating Columbus.
Canadiens 2, Thrashers 0: At Atlanta, goalie Yann Danis stopped 32 shots in his NHL debut, shutting down Ilya Kovalchuk and a powerful Atlanta attack to guide Montreal’s victory.
The 24-year-old Danis earned the win and shutout in his first start as Montreal coach Claude Julien rested the team’s No. 1 normal starting goalie, Jose Theodore.
Wild 6, Canucks 0: At St. Paul, Minn., Matt Foy scored the first two goals of his career and Dwayne Roloson made 33 saves to lead Minnesota past Vancouver.
Hurricanes 7, Capitals 2: At Raleigh, N.C., Eric Staal scored his fifth goal of the season and captain Rod Brind’Amour scored his first, helping Carolina defeat Washington.
Off the ice
Gilbert Brule, 18, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ first-round draft pick, will miss six weeks with a broken sternum. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound center was injured Friday on a hit by Calgary defender Roman Hamrlik. … Bruins captain Joe Thornton returned to Boston from the team’s road trip to treat his back spasms.