By Pat Graham, AP sports writer
DENVER (AP) — Filip Forsberg scored with 11:54 remaining in the third period, Cody McLeod had a goal and a fight against his former team and the Nashville Predators rallied for a 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.
Forsberg lined in a shot shortly after corralling a faceoff. Mike Fisher had tied up the game about 3 minutes earlier on a breakaway.
Gabriel Landeskog and Francois Beauchemin scored for the struggling Avalanche, who have lost 12 of their past 13 home games.
McLeod made quite a debut against his former team a day after being acquired in a trade with Nashville.
McLeod, who was honored with a video tribute in the first period, did what the gritty forward does best — fight. He squared off with Jarome Iginla in a second-period bout that pretty much ended in a draw.
Fresh out of the penalty box after serving five minutes for fighting, McLeod tapped in a pass to make it 2-1 and revitalize the Predators, who improved to 4-0 against Colorado this season.
Pekka Rinne stopped 28 shots, including one late in which he slid all the way across the goal to thwart Nathan MacKinnon’s liner with his body. The Avalanche thought they tied it up during a scrum in front of the net with 2 minutes remaining, but the officials ruled the whistle had stopped play before the puck went in.
One of the loudest roars of the game was when McLeod and Iginla dropped the gloves in the Predators end. It only lasted a few punches before they tumbled to the ice.
Three seconds later, Beauchemin found an opening and lined a shot past Rinne to stake Colorado to a 2-0 lead. It was Beauchemin’s first goal since April 7, 2016, at Dallas.
There was a scary moment in the second period when Colorado forward Rene Bourque checked Nashville’s Viktor Arvidsson into the boards. Arvidsson stayed down for several minutes before heading to the locker room.
Bourque was given a boarding major penalty and a game misconduct. Arvidsson returned to the game.
Earlier in the game, Forsberg limped to the bench after taking a hard check from defenseman Nikita Zadorov. After a quick trip into the locker room, Forsberg was back on the ice.
Nashville is already without defenseman Roman Josi and forward Colin Wilson as both were placed on injured reserve Saturday. That’s in addition to missing All-Star defenseman P.K. Subban, who’s sidelined with an upper-body injury.
Fans lined up signs along the glass before the game to honor McLeod, who played 10 seasons with the Avalanche.
Known for his fierce play, McLeod’s 129 fighting majors are the most by an Avalanche player.
Notes: The Predators recalled D Petter Granberg from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League. He was in the lineup Saturday. … F Mike Ribeiro was a scratch. … With McLeod’s departure, Colorado F Matt Duchene has now been with the Avalanche the longest of any player on the roster. Duchene turns 26 on Monday.
Predators: Travel to Vancouver on Tuesday for the second game on a five-game trip.
Avalanche: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.