ANAHEIM -- The route the Anaheim Ducks took to defeat a fellow Western Conference power on Sunday wasn't their ideal blueprint, but they hope their finish is a good foundation for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Ducks overcame another lackluster second period and got goals by Ryan Getzlaf, Kyle Palmieri, Nate Thompson and Cam Fowler in the third to rally from a two-goal deficit for a 4-2 win against the Nashville Predators at Honda Center.
Palmieri and Thompson scored 35 seconds apart for the Ducks (44-20-7), who defeated the Predators (43-21-7) in a matchup of two of the top three teams in the conference.
"It seems to be one of those things that keep happening to us," Fowler said. "But tonight, I'm going to focus on the positives, which is our effort in the third period. If we play like that, we're a very difficult team to handle. We don't always want to put ourselves behind the eight-ball like that, but at least we've proven to ourselves that we can respond that way."
It was Anaheim's NHL-leading 11th win when trailing after two periods, and it came after they were outscored 2-0 and outshot 15-3 in the second.
"It makes life a little bit easier when you believe you can do it, and I've said that many times," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "But I wouldn't have thought that after the second period ... the [second] period is why coaches have no hair."
Palmieri grabbed a loose puck off the end boards and beat Predators goalie Pekka Rinne with a wrist shot at 9:16, tying the game 2-2. Thompson completed a give-and-go with Jakob Silfverberg at 9:51. Fowler scored a power-play goal at 14:51.
Anaheim trailed 2-0 going into the third before Getzlaf perked up the sellout crowd of 17,295 with his 23rd goal at 2:12 off a cycle from Corey Perry and Patrick Maroon. The Ducks found a ferocious forecheck and outshot the Predators 15-4 in the third.
"If you look at our season, anytime we get a goal, we usually get another one," Getzlaf said. "It's always about breaking through, getting that first goal and not getting frustrated. Guys did a good job."
Rinne, who made back-to-back starts for the first time since Dec. 29-30, had Nashville in position for a sweep of the Ducks and Los Angeles Kings through 40 minutes. But the Predators seemed helpless during Anaheim's 7-1 shot advantage to start the third.
Rinne, who helped the Predators grind out a 2-1 win against the Kings on Saturday, said that game played a slight factor but his team should have found the energy for such a high-profile game.
"That's a disappointing game on the road," Rinne said. "The third period, that's not how to handle your lead. We kept turning pucks over. Just this time, it bites us. It is disappointing."
Nashville coach Peter Laviolette called his timeout after Getzlaf's goal but it didn't slow Anaheim.
"Just watching the game, you can sense it right from the start of the period, they scored the goal," Laviolette said. "You use a timeout to try and reel it back in and put a stop to it, see if you can't stop the game and start it again, but they kept coming.
The Predators fell back into second place in the Central Division. It was their third regulation loss when leading after two periods (24-3-3). Laviolette looked and sounded upset when asked if they could put the loss behind them.
"Everybody's got a pit in their stomach right now," he said.
Taylor Beck and Roman Josi gave Nashville a 2-0 lead in the second period. Beck finished a 2-on-1 with Gabriel Bourque at 1:19 after Perry made an errant cross-ice pass to Fowler. Josi's slap shot hit the stick of Anaheim defenseman Francois Beauchemin and went inside the right post on the power play at 6:49.
At the other end, the Predators put on a defensive clinic and outshot the Ducks 12-0 to start the second.
It was another poor middle period for Anaheim, which has been outscored 86-67 in the second this season. The Ducks did not put a shot on goal until Getzlaf's attempt with 6:38 remaining.
Getzlaf and Thompson said there wasn't much venting during the second intermission.
"It was not anything more than PG," said Thompson, who had the sixth game-winning goal of his career.
Defenseman James Wisniewski got his first point as a Duck since April 11, 2010, with an assist on Fowler's goal.
Nashville forward James Neal missed his second straight game because of an upper-body injury.