Avs drop fourth straight as Preds’ Rinne shuts them out

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The Colorado Avalanche lost netminder Semyon Varlamov again on Tuesday due to a lingering groin injury, but their goaltending wasn’t the reason they suffered a 3-0 defeat to Nashville on Tuesday.

Calvin Pickard did an admiral job filling in for Varlamov. He stopped 33 of 34 shots and Filip Forsberg’s game-winning goal would have been a tough one to stop.

Gabriel Bourque and James Neal padded the lead with empty-net goals in the final two minutes of the contest.

At the other end of the ice, Pekka Rinne earned a 26-save shutout. He’s emerged as an early contender for the Vezina Trophy with a 18-5-1 record, 1.81 GAA, and .934 save percentage in 24 games this season. Perhaps he’ll get some consideration for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy too given that he’s putting up these numbers after missing most of the 2013-14 campaign because of a hip injury.

Colorado has now lost four consecutive games to fall to 9-13-6 in 2014-15. The Avalanche have to overcome a nine-point deficit if they want to make the playoffs. The only silver lining is there’s still plenty of time for them to do that.