NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Colorado's Andreas Martinsen figured he had nothing to lose, so he took a shot.

And it went in.

The left winger whacked in a backhander during a scramble midway through the third period to lift the Avalanche over the Nashville Predators 3-2 on Saturday night.

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Martinsen swatted the puck out of mid-air past goaltender Pekka Rinne 9:36 into the third for his second score of the season.

''I just saw it coming there in mid-air and I thought I might as well give it a try,'' Martinsen said. ''I hit it and it went in, so it's a good feeling when you score goals like that.''

Martinsen scored his first career goal on Nov. 21 at Washington. He believes his line got rewarded for hard work in this one.

''It was a dirty one, an ugly goal, but I think our line - we were going the whole night,'' Martinsen said. ''We were working them down low and being physical and taking pucks to the net and in the end you get rewarded with a real ugly one.''

Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 34 saves.

''Their goalie made some great saves,'' Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis said. ''They did enough to win. I liked our effort for the most part.''

Francois Beauchemin and Nick Holden also scored for Colorado in the first game of a three-game trip.

Nashville's power play went 0 for 5, and Colorado blocked 12 shots.

''I thought we played a strong game,'' Colorado coach Patrick Roy said. ''Our (penalty kill) was really good. Blocked shots, we were very disciplined in our structure.''

Miikka Salomaki and Craig Smith scored for Nashville. The Predators fell to 9-4-2 at home and 9-2-1 in their last 12 home games against Colorado.

Colorado seized a 2-0 lead in the first period, but Nashville rallied to tie the score at 2 early in the third period.

Smith blasted a one-timer from the left point past Varlamov, tying it 58 seconds into the third period.

Ellis slid a cross-ice pass inside the blue line to Smith, who recorded his seventh goal of the season.

''The game tonight, I don't think we were very good in the first period,'' Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. ''They scored two goals, they were better than us. We fought hard in the second and the third but couldn't catch up to it.''

Rinne, last season's Vezina Trophy runner-up, fell to 12-8-5.

Beauchemin gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 8:32 of the first period.

His slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle was screened by Colorado's Matt Duchene.

Colorado increased its lead to on a tic-tac-toe goal by Holden at 14:38 of the first period.

His wrist shot beat Rinne stick side after passes from Alex Tanguay and John Mitchell.

Nashville narrowed the deficit to 2-1 on when Salomaki deflected Ellis' wrist shot past Varlamov with 7.7 seconds left in the first period.

Colorado took four penalties in a 12-minute stretch and the Predators outshot the Avalanche 10-1 in the second period, but Varlamov was perfect.

NOTES: Colorado left wing Gabriel Landeskog missed his second straight game with a back injury. He could return to the lineup at St. Louis on Sunday. The Avalanche scratched defenseman Zach Redmond and Landeskog. ... Nashville scratched defenseman Anthony Bitetto, defenseman Petter Granberg and center Colin Wilson. ... Gaustad took two penalties in the first period. ... When Colorado returns home Dec. 17, it will end a stretch of 20 road games in 32 games.