Game Day Blog: Preds at Anaheim Ducks

Friday, 03.12.2010 / 5:57 PM / Preview
By Tom Callahan  - Nashville Predators
Game Preview
Nashville Predators @ Anaheim Ducks
9 pm CST
TV: FSTN (HD) Radio: 97-1 RQQ, Predators Radio Network

It’s just hanging out there like a flag in the wind. Painful as banging your toe on the edge of the bed at night and annoying as the single, loudly buzzing fly in your dead-quiet kitchen. It’s last night’s third period, when the Predators allowed six goals to the San Jose Sharks and lost 8-5. But much like that fly once swatted or out the window, it’s behind you. Life goes back to being in the moment.

And that’s exactly what Barry Trotz said to me this morning when we talked about the game tonight. Yes, you hate to lose a game like that, and the third period elicited a string of emotions (none of them good). But it’s history. The Predators have to put the game behind them now. Don’t lose the lesson, realize you need to be better, but as coach Trotz wisely put it “we can’t let last night’s game affect tonight’s focus.”

Basically, the Preds still have a chance to get out of this road trip at 3-1, and last night’s meltdown is largely attributed to not getting saves when needed in the third period. For two periods Nashville did many things right, including bottle up the Sharks vaunted offense and pour 34 shots on goal, scoring four times. Yes, the Predators looked very, very good for 40 minutes. Let’s hope that is what carries over into tonight against the Ducks.

This is a Ducks team that is struggling right now. The only team in the NHL that hasn’t won post-Olympics, Anaheim finds itself possibly without Teemu Selanne tonight (flu) and still looking for answers out of Jonas Hiller, who has been mired in a slump since returning from a great tournament with the Swiss in Vancouver. The Ducks have also been atrocious on the penalty kill, allowing three power play goals against twice in the last four games. Finally, the club has netted just eight goals in the last four outings.

If Nashville can jump out on the Ducks the way they did on the Sharks, Anaheim might be far more inclined to fold the tent than San Jose. Doubt is creeping into the dressing room at the Honda Center, and the best thing the Preds can do is exploit that early and often.

Notes:
  • The Ducks PK unit is just 12-19 since the Olympic break (63.2%). Ducks’ head coach Randy Carlyle has said he is even considering using completely different personnel on the kill if things don’t change very quickly.
  • The Ducks have allowed three power play goals in a game against both Columbus and Colorado since the break.
  • Anaheim is 0-3-1 since the break and has been out-scored 17-8 in those four games.
  • JP Dumont netted his 500th NHL point last night in the loss to San Jose. Dumont finished the game with a pair of goals.
  • Cody Franson ranks third in the NHL in road plus/minus at +13. Only Jarome Iginla (+15) and Nicklas Lidstrom (+14) are better away from home.
Keys to the Game
  • Short memories for the Predators. Forget it, you can’t go back and win that one anymore. Now you have to win tonight’s game.
  • Goaltending. Both teams have been looking for answers between the pipes, with Hiller having an apparent Olympic hangover and Nashville still looking for one guy to take the mantle and go. Someone has to step up, hopefully tonight it’s Rinne.
  • Contain Ryan, Perry, and Getzlaf. A combined 69 goals shows you where this line stands in terms of production.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43

 
 

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