DENVER (AP) Now that was more of the start Nashville was looking for. The finish? Not as much.Filip Forsberg scored another creative goal [url=http://www.starsshoponline.com/authentic-tyler-seguin-jersey]Womens Tyler Seguin Jersey[/url] , Pekka Rinne rebounded from a rocky performance with 31 saves, and the Predators withstood a furious rally by the Colorado Avalanche for a 3-2 win in Game 4 on Wednesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the first-round series.”I guess probably some teams, every once in a while, can say everything is perfect. Everything is awesome,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. ”But most times you’re trying to work on something, trying to get better at something.”For the first time all series, the Avs were held scoreless in the opening period and the Predators built a 3-0 cushion heading into the final period.Colton Sissons and Craig Smith also scored for the Predators, who can close out the series Friday when it shifts back to Nashville for Game 5.”We don’t want it to end at all,” Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon said. ”We’re still in it. It’s not over yet.”Rinne was solid early after being pulled from the last game. Cruising along and up 3-0, the Vezina Trophy finalist allowed Gabriel Landeskog’s 5-on-3 power-play goal in the third and another on Alexander Kerfoot’s tap-in off a rebound with 8:59 remaining.Colin Wilson nearly tied with about 2 minutes left when his shot appeared to hit the post. The Avalanche pulled backup goalie Andrew Hammond late, but couldn’t get the tying goal. Tyson Jost sent a shot over the net at the buzzer.”It was a good push by them,” Forsberg said.Forsberg worked his puck-handling magic in the first period by dancing around defenseman Duncan Siemens and juking Jonathan Bernier for his third goal of the series. The ever-creative Forsberg had an artistic goal in Game 1 as well, when he sent the puck through the defenseman’s legs before scoring.”Just tried to use my speed wide and use that speed all the way around the net,” Forsberg said.Bernier allowed three goals on 26 shots before being replaced by Hammond to start the third period due to a lower body injury. Hammond had eight saves.Forsberg and his crew came out with a little more spring in their skates for Game 4. This may have played a role: The team went through an up-tempo practice the day before. It was a way to avoid a sluggish start like Monday when Colorado scored three times in the first period of Game 3.The strategy worked. Nashville controlled the tempo except for a frenzied stretch in the third.”We knew we weren’t going to go 16-0,” Forsberg said. ”We were going to lose a game throughout these playoffs and obviously we were just looking to bounce back.”Now, the Avs are looking to regroup.”I’m obviously upset at the result [url=http://www.coyotesproshop.com/authentic-oliver-ekman-larsson-jersey]http://www.coyotesproshop.com/authentic-oliver-ekman-larsson-jersey[/url] , but I loved our third, there’s no question,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. ”But we need to find that urgency earlier.”There was a scary moment in the second period when MacKinnon’s stick caught teammate Mikko Rantanen near the eye. Rantanen left with a towel pressed against his face, only to return a few minutes later.But not before the Predators scored another goal as Smith zoomed out of the penalty box and beat Bernier with a wrist shot to make it 3-0.From there, things turned a little testy. Landeskog hit a tumbling Ryan Johansen, who headed to the dressing room. He returned in the third period.P.K. Subban got the crowd fired up early by shooting a puck into Colorado’s net in the pregame warmups. He’s stepped into the villain’s role after delivering a blow to the side of MacKinnon’s helmet during Game 3. Subban was booed each time he touched the puck.The Predators came out firing on all cylinders, even going on an early 5-on-3 power play for 1:20. They but couldn’t get anything past Bernier, but they did knock Bernier’s mask momentarily out of commission when Viktor Arvidsson’s slap shot caught him square him in the cage. Bernier skated over to the bench to grab his backup one. He later returned to his original one.NOTES: Predators F Calle Jarnkrok returned after missing the last 16 games with an upper-body injury. … Rinne felt honored to be a finalist for the award that goes to the league’s top goaltender. ”Even though it’s an individual award, I couldn’t do it without my teammates,” he said. … Avs D Samuel Girard missed a third straight game with an upper-body injury. … Avs F Carl Soderberg took a bit hit from RW Ryan Hartman in the third that drew a charging penalty.— NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Pekka Rinne is off to an even better start than last season when he finally won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goalie, and backup Juuse Saros ranks among the league’s top 10 for victories.With both goalies now signed to contract extensions, the Nashville Predators may have the best goalie situation both on and off the ice.“There’s tandems that are much better than others, Nashville has one of them,” said Martin Biron, a former NHL goalie and now Buffalo broadcaster. “And I think if you’re Peter Laviolette [url=http://www.bruinsshoponline.com/authentic-anders-bjork-jersey]http://www.bruinsshoponline.com/authentic-anders-bjork-jersey[/url] , if you’re the goalie coach and the staff, your job and your challenge is to keep them at the highest of levels for the whole season.”So far, the defending Presidents’ Trophy winners are doing just that.The Predators went into Tuesday night’s game in San Jose atop the league standings while also first in the NHL both in goals allowed (37) and 2.12 goals-against per game with Rinne and Saros (7-2-0) splitting the first 18 games. Rinne has been “ImPekkable” with a 6-1-1 record, leading all goalies with at least eight starts with a 1.47 goals-against average and .951 save percentage.“Every day he is and continues to be the backbone of this organization and team and has probably had the biggest impact on this organization,” Laviolette said.Rinne is 3-0-1 with a .740 goals-against average and .976 save percentage and a shutout, stopping 121 of 124 shots faced since returning from injured reserve on Oct. 31. The Predators signed Rinne to a two-year extension taking him through 2020-21 on Nov. 3, and the goalie celebrated both the contract and his birthday with his second shutout of the season.Biron said Tuesday that he doesn’t see a big competition for the starting job in Nashville.“It’s Pekka’s job, and Nashville giving him that two-year deal I think is basically saying that ‘We want Pekka, and it’s going to be like that,'” Biron said.Rinne has been a Vezina finalist four of the past eight years, making the seven-year, $49 million contract he signed on an earlier birthday in 2011 worth every penny. That deal ties him for the fourth-priciest contract among goalies with Marc-Andre Fleury (33) of Vegas and Boston’s Tuukka Rask (31). Fleury is under contract through 2021-22, and Rask hits free agency after the 2020-21 season.The Predators signed Rinne to a two-year extension worth $10 million on Nov. 3. General manager David Poile also signed Saros, 23, to a three-year extension in July worth $4.5 million. That means Nashville is projected to drop from seventh with $8.5 million of its salary cap invested in goaltenders to ninth next season with a $6.5 million average annual value, according to Sportrac.com.Rinne could’ve pushed for more money. Montreal’s Carey Price [url=http://www.bruinsshoponline.com/authentic-brad-marchand-jersey]http://www.bruinsshoponline.com/authentic-brad-marchand-jersey[/url] , 31, is getting $10.5 million a year, while Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers is being paid $8.5 million a year through 2020-21.Biron calls Rinne one of the hardest-working goalies he’s ever seen who’s in unbelievable shape. He also sees Rinne simplifying his game as he got older, like Patrick Roy, Dominik Hasek and Eddie Belfour. Rinne still can scramble and react, which Biron thinks will keep Rinne playing at a high level for possibly four more years like Lundqvist.“Pekka can play at least through this next contract, and then after that we’ll see,” Biron said.It’s up to Nashville to make that extra cap space pay off after losing the 2017 Stanley Cup Final in six games and then in seven games in the second round last May. Poile persuaded defenseman Ryan Ellis to take a bit less money with an eight-year deal for $50 million in August, and his next task will be trying to get captain Roman Josi to agree to an extension next summer before the final year on the defenseman’s current deal.“Hopefully this helps in a way that makes this team stay together moving forward,” Rinne said. “I think we have an opportunity to keep this same team. And I think that’s David’s goal and obviously I like the sound of it. I love this group, and I really think we have a chance this year and years to come.”EARLY RETURNSTom Wilson of the Capitals returned to the lineup Tuesday night at Minnesota after arbitrator Shyam Das reduced the forward’s suspension by six games to 14 for his illegal check to the head of St. Louis forward Oskar Sundqvist at the end of the preseason.He made an immediate impact, scoring a first-period goal in a 5-2 victory.Nashville forward Austin Watson is eligible to return to the ice Thursday night when the Predators wrap up a road trip in Arizona after Das cut his suspension from 27 games to 18 after he pleaded no contest in July to a domestic assault charge.Das is the same neutral arbitrator fired by Major League Baseball in 2012 after he overturned Ryan Braun’s drug suspension. The NHL fired arbitrator James Oldham in 2016 after his decision to reduce Dennis Wideman’s 20-game suspension to 10 for striking and injuring an official, and either the NHL or NHLPA can fire the neutral arbitrator after each season.NWHL ALL-STAR GAMEThe Predators, who hosted the 2016 NHL All-Star Game, will be hosting the 2019 NWHL All-Star Weekend capped by an NHL-NWHL doubleheader on Feb. 10. This is the third straight year the NWHL has held its All-Star Weekend in an NHL market, starting with Pittsburgh in 2017 and Minnesota in 2018.Nashville will host St. Louis with a morning faceoff [url=http://www.bruinsshoponline.com/authentic-david-krejci-jersey]http://www.bruinsshoponline.com/authentic-david-krejci-jersey[/url] , and fans will be invited to stick around for the NWHL All-Star Game starting soon after the NHL matinee. The All-Star game will feature a pair of 25-minute halves with Shannon Szabados, goalie for the Buffalo Beauts and a three-time Olympian with Canada, captain of one team and Minnesota defender Lee Stecklein, a U.S. Olympic gold medalist in February, captain of the other team.GAME OF THE WEEKPatrick Marleau and the Toronto Maple Leafs visit his old team in San Jose on Thursday night with Erik Karlsson still settling in with the Sharks.LEADERS (through Tuesday)Goals: David Pastrnak (Boston), 16; Assists: Mikko Rantanen (Colorado), 20; Points: Mikko Rantanen, (Colorado), and Connor McDavid, (Edmonton), 26; Wins: Frederik Andersen (Toronto), 10; Goals-against average: Pekka Rinne (Nashville), 1.47; Save percentage: Pekka Rinne (Nashville), .951.