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Landeskog leads the Avalanche past the Predators in thrilling shootout victory

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The Colorado Avalanche never led the Nashville Predators when the two squared off Tuesday night; but when the dust had settled, they were still able to emerge with two points.

The Avs fell down by two in the first period when Swiss defenseman Roman Josi put a pair of pucks past goaltender Semyon Varlamov. Colorado was outshot badly (13-3) in the opening frame, but was still able to keep the game close; as captain Gabriel Landeskog sniped a wrister by goaltender Pekka Rinne in the period’s final minute.

"What I like about our group is we were resilient, even if we were not playing our best game," said Avalanche coach Patrick Roy.

Landeskog would add another tally in the second, knotting the game at two thanks to a beautiful feed by linemate Paul Stastny. With assists on both of Landeskog’s goals, Stastny became the fifth Avalanche player to eclipse the 50 point mark this season.

Matt Cullen would score later in the frame to reclaim the lead for Nashville.

Avs forward Cody McLeod put home his own rebound in the third to again tie the game; but with five minutes left in the final frame Matt Cullen delivered a dagger, netting his second of the contest.

The Avalanche responded less than a minute later, when defenseman Nick Holden continued his torrid play; driving the net and sending the game to overtime. A career minor leaguer, Holden has become an integral part of the Avalanche, and is tied for the team lead in goals by a defenseman with nine (including three in the last five games). Landeskog picked up an assist on the goal, giving him three points on the night.

With overtime unable to settle anything, the game headed into a shootout. Rookie Calle Jarnkrok showed veteran poise, out-waiting Varlamov and beating him with a beautiful move to open up the scoring. Not to be deterred, the Avalanche got goals in the shootout from both Ryan O’Reilly and Landeskog; the latter proved to be the difference, capping off a masterful performance from the Avalanche captain.