After the excruciating loss against the L.A. Kings the night before, the Predators trudged across the street (basically) into Anaheim to face the always pleasant Ducks. The Predators have dominated the Ducks all season long, so sweeping the Ducks in their final meeting of the season would give the Predators a giddy up in their step after a tough Western trek. The Ducks are currently sitting in 12th in the Western Conference, but don’t let that fool you; Similar to the Kings and the Sharks, the Ducks aren’t a team to overlook. They can be dirty, physical, and competitive; Did the Predators pull out a regulation win? Here are the highlights from last night’s game in Anaheim:
- Brian McGrattan, Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi, Paul Gaustad, Jack Maclellan, and Colin Wilson were the scratches for the night. However, it was Wilson’s injury that caused a stir among Predators fans yesterday. Wilson suffered a “tweaked” groin muscle during practice yesterday. Don’t worry, although he was missing from the lineup last night, it doesn’t seem to be life threatening.
- Anaheim started out strong at 7:32 with a short-handed tip-in goal from Devante Smith-Pelly past Anders Lindback for his 5th goal of the season.
- With no follow up goals in the 1st and no goals whatsoever in the 2nd, it was looking like Predators were struggling once again against their Western foes. However, Anders Lindback blocked 13 shots on goal during the second, proving he’s just as strong as Pekka Rinne.
- Nashville looked like the Kings during the third period, coming out with a ferocity they should have emitted during the first two periods of the game. Patric Hornqvist struck fast at 1:19 with a wrist shot past Jonas Hiller for his 23rd goal of the season. David Legwand picked up his 30th assist and rookie Gabriel Bourque picked up his 8th.
- Mike Fisher sounded off his 23rd goal as well at 10:27 with a beautiful tip-in with help from Ryan Suter (36th assist) and Martin Erat (38th assist).
- David Legwand would seal the game for the Predators at 19:43 with an empty-netter power play goal for his 16th goal of the season. Sergei Kostitsyn picked up his 26th assist along with Kevin Klein for his 13th assist.
- Besides the 3rd period, the Ducks out-shot the Predators in both the first and second periods. However, although backup goalie Anders Lindback hasn’t seen too much ice time behind Pekka Rinne, it was clear Lindback was itching for some ice time. If you hadn’t known Lindback was starting last night, you would have thought that was Pekka all the way. Blocking 30 of 31 shots on goal, we’d say Anders Lindback is a Pekka Rinne in the making.
- Although the Predators allowed a short-handed goal in the first period, Nashville only gave the Ducks one penalty chance throughout the game. Martin Erat picked up an interference on goalkeeper penalty 33 seconds into the 2nd Period, yet Anders took control and blocked all 13 shots on goal during that period.
The Ducks were unable to snag one win over the Predators this entire season, hopefully giving the Nashville team a boost in confidence as they return to Smashville on Tuesday night to take on the Edmonton Oilers. Edmonton is currently sitting in 14th in the conference and 5th (last) in the Northwest Division. But again, the Predators should not underestimate the struggling Oilers.
The puck drops in Nashville at 7PM tomorrow night.
(Photo credit of: Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)