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Overtime goal caps Avalanche’s comeback against Predators

Dec 23, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm (14) attempts a shot against Colorado Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Defenseman Samuel Girard scored 4:17 into overtime and Alexandar Georgiev made 38 saves to fuel the visiting Colorado Avalanche to a 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Friday.

Girard scored against his former team after converting a 2-on-1 rush with Evan Rodrigues to end the game. The goal was the second of the season for Girard, who was selected by Nashville in the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft.

Mikko Rantanen collected a goal and an assist and J.T. Compher also tallied for the Avalanche, who tied a season high with their fourth straight win.

Colorado’s Valeri Nichushkin sustained a lower-body injury and did not return to the contest.

Matt Duchene scored a goal in his fourth straight game, Ryan Johansen also tallied and Juuse Saros made a season-high 43 saves for the Predators. The loss was Nashville’s seventh in its last nine games (2-4-3).

Nashville opened the scoring at 12:26 of the first period as captain Roman Josi’s shot from the point was deflected on goal by Tomas Novak. Georgiev made the pad save, but Johansen deposited the rebound for his ninth goal of the season and second against the Avalanche.

The Predators doubled the advantage at 6:22 of the second period.

Nino Niederreiter stopped the puck from exiting the offensive zone and quickly fed Cody Glass, who wired a feed to the left doorstep that Duchene converted for his 10th goal of the season. Duchene has scored 11 goals in 12 career games against the Avalanche, the team that selected him with the third overall pick of the 2009 NHL Draft.

Rantanen halved the deficit at 12:46 of the second period for his team-leading 23rd goal of the season and 12th in his last 15 games. Logan O’Connor stole the puck along the right-wing boards, and Rantanen collected the loose puck in the circle and wristed a shot past Saros.

Compher deflected home a feed at the doorstep to forge a tie at 2-2 with 4:55 remaining in the third period.

–Field Level Media