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Forsberg has goal, assist in Preds’ win over Avs

DENVER (AP) — Filip Forsberg scored 2:23 in and added a late assist, and Pekka Rinne earned his third shutout of the season as the Nashville Predators beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 on Tuesday night.

Gabriel Bourque and James Neal scored empty-net goals in the closing minutes for the Predators, who avoided their first two-game losing streak of the season.

Forsberg scored the 12th goal of his rookie season. Bourque sent a pass through the sticks of two Avalanche players, and the 20-year-old Swede broke into the open ice and flipped the puck over Calvin Pickard’s left shoulder.

Rinne did the rest, stopping 26 shots. He has won eight of his past 10 starts, limiting opponents to two goals or fewer in those games.

Pickard made 33 saves in place of Semyon Varlamov, who missed his 10th game of the season after aggravating a groin injury during practice on Monday.

The Avalanche fell to 0-3-1 in December after winning five of their last seven in November.

Forsberg, who leads NHL rookies with 12 goals and 15 assists, came up empty on another breakaway chance in the first period after he was hooked by Alex Tanguay. Olli Jokinen was robbed by Pickard’s glove in the closing minutes.

It didn’t matter, though, because Rinne was perfect at the other end.

Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog missed an open net, and hit the post late in the second period. The Avalanche were shut out for the fourth time this season.

Bourque scored an empty-net goal with 1:50 remaining — nine seconds after Pickard went to the bench. Neal added another with 52 seconds to go.

NOTES: Predators center Paul Gaustad, who missed Saturday’s game with a lower-body injury, left with the same injury and didn’t return. … Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said Varlamov would miss a “couple weeks.” … The injury-ravaged Avalanche recalled Paul Carey and Borna Rendulic from Lake Erie of the AHL. Rendulic became the first Croatian-born player to play in the NHL. He nearly scored, too, but his drive hit the post early in the second period.

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