NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -Teemu Selanne scored the only shootout goal and the Anaheim Ducks beat Nashville 2-1 on Tuesday night to move into a tie with the Predators for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.
Anaheim has won four straight games while Nashville has lost three straight. Both teams have 78 points with nine games left.
After the first three players for both teams were denied on their shootout attempts, Selanne skated in on goaltender Pekka Rinne and lifted a backhander just under the crossbar.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere then stopped Nashville's Radek Bonk to seal the win for the Ducks.
Selanne also helped Anaheim grab a 1-0 lead at 17:38 of the second period. He carried the puck into the Nashville zone along the right side before faking a shot to freeze Rinne. He then passed to Drew Miller, who moved to the low slot before beating Rinne with a wrister to the stick side.
Miller's goal was his third in 18 games this season and second in his last three. The rookie has spent most of the season with Iowa of the American Hockey League.
Preds Secure Season Series
Nashville may have dropped the shootout to Anaheim, but by coming from behind to force overtime the Predators claimed a valuable point … not just in the NHL standings, but also in the head-to-head match-up with the Ducks. The overtime point allowed the Preds to finish the season series against the Ducks 2-0-2 and claim the head-to-head series six points to five (Anaheim went 2-1-1 vs. Nashville).
Weber became the first Nashville defenseman to score 20 goals in a season. His nine power-play goals lead the team.
Giguere finished with 31 saves. Rinne had 18 stops.
Notes: Bonk returned to the Nashville lineup after missing the last 12 games with an upper body injury. ... Selanne has 41 points in 35 career games against Nashville. ... Three of Anaheim's last four wins have come in overtime or a shootout.
Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz
On Sullivan’s breakaway at the end of the third…
I thought in the third we had numerous chances with getting some pucks at the net. With Sully at two minutes to go there, he had Giguere beat. If that puck just doesn’t flip on him we could’ve been the 2-1 victors. Then again in the shootout, he had Giguere beat.
On getting at least one point…
It’s about collecting points. Obviously we would like two, and we didn’t get that, but every night that you get points, that’s what you need.
On expecting to have three-point games….
You do expect to have three-point games in a lot of ways. In some ways, it is part of the playoff run. Teams are desperate, teams are hanging in there, teams are finding ways. I thought in the third period we put a lot of pucks at the net, we were skating the way that we should. We were persistent on the puck and we went for it.
On the overall play of Anaheim…
I think Anaheim has an incredible record when leading after two periods. It’s close to 21-1-1, which is a really strong record so it was a big point for us. We could have gotten no points but we had numerous chances during the third period and then we had numerous during the overtime period we just couldn’t find the back of the net.
On spending a lot of time in Anaheim’s zone…
Part of the game plan was to do what we always do, to get pucks deep and skate and put pucks on the net. I thought we did a pretty good job for the most part – we had numerous opportunities and I thought we skated really well. I thought we skated much better during the second-half of the game.
On the power-play goal by Shea Weber…
The power play came through with a big goal. If we were to get one of those chances during the third, we would be on the other end, but I thought we played hard.
On being pleased with the defensive effort against Anaheim’s top line…
Well we talked about the game and wanted to stay out of the penalty box. Their power play is extremely hot, hitting around 65-70 percent right now. I thought our discipline was really good, we stayed out of the box, we wanted to keep the big line off of the scoreboard and we were able to do that. They were very close a couple of times, and we did a really good job of keeping them from scoring.
Forward David Legwand
On the feeling in the locker room…
Obviously we’re disappointed. We needed the two points but we got the one. We need to move forward toward Thursday and getting two points there. We’re coming down to the finish and it’s an exciting time of year, but we need to get two points every night. We need to do everything we can to get them.
On not feeling sorry for themselves…
We can’t. We have to pick our heads up tomorrow and get back to work and get ready to go on Thursday.
On the feeling of the game…
It was exciting. That’s why they put the shootouts in – for the fans and for the players. It didn’t go the right way tonight but Thursday we have to get two points in regulation.
Forward Steve Sullivan
On his shootout attempt…
I tried to go upstairs and thread the needle but it caught the crossbar.
On the feeling in the dressing room…
We’re disappointed we didn’t get the two points. We’re disappointed we allowed them to get a point on us. We also got a point on a night where everyone that’s bunched up fighting for seventh and eighth. I’m sure not everyone is going to get points tonight. Getting a point will create some space between us and the teams behind us. It’s a deadlock race and we’re right in the thick of things so we’re excited to be in this opportunity and we have nine games to go.
On getting a point in five straight games…
We need to start getting some wins. Getting one point every night is not “our” hockey and coming down the stretch it’s not going to be good enough. But, on the other side, we are getting points so we’re battling through and playing our hearts out the first 60 minutes making sure we’re making good decisions. We just have to do better in the overtime and shootout.
Goaltender Pekka Rinne
On the tough loss…
It’s always tough. You lose a point and in a situation like this – battling for the same spot – every point counts so it’s a tough game to lose.
On Teemu Selanne’s goal…
He’s very good at the shootout. He has good moves and fakes his shot really well. You have to respect his shot and he made a good move. I wish I would have stopped it.
On playing against Selanne…
He was always my hero and watching national team games – he was a big idol for me. It’s been nice this year to face him a few times.
On getting a point in five straight games…
We need those points every single game. We have to be happy with at least one point. In the past five games we’ve been doing a good job and I think our overall game is getting in better shape. Tonight we only gave up 19 shots and we shot 31 times so that’s a good sign.