DENVER Pekka Rinne stopped 32 shots to lift the Nashville Predators to a 5-1 win Thursday night over a Colorado Avalanche squad that learned hours earlier that forward Tomas Fleischmann would be out for the rest of the season with blood clots in his lungs.
Sergei Kostitsyn, Cody Franson, Matt Halischuk, David Legwand and Colin Wilson scored for the surging Predators, who have won nine of 11.
Rinne came up big all night, but his shutout bid ended when Matt Duchene scored with 3:37 remaining in the game.
It was a difficult day for the Avs as Fleischmann, one of their top scorers, was diagnosed with two blood clots, one in each of his lungs. He complained of shortness of breath after the morning skate.
The team said the 26-year-old left wing will be on blood thinners for several months and will be held out of action. He should be able to resume his career after treatment.
Rinne improved to 8-1 over his last nine starts, giving up less than two goals a game during that stretch.
Ryan Stoa nearly scored in the second period, but the referee signaled for play to continue. The play was reviewed, but the original call was upheld.