BALANCED ATTACK KEEPS THE DUCKS DOWN
The Nashville Predators picked up their second win of the series on Sunday night thanks to contributions from throughout the lineup. Martin Erat, Jordin Tootoo and David Legwand all picked up their first goals of the 2011 postseason, while nine different players earned points on the night. Only three skaters (Shane O’Brien, Matt Halischuk and Nick Spaling) have yet to earn a point in the series while nine players have at least two points in the three games.
Fourteen players on the Nashville roster recorded a shot on goal in Sunday’s contest, helping the Predators to a total of 37. It was the third time in three games that Nashville outshot Anaheim, each time recording at least 30 attempts on goal. The 16 shots by the Ducks were the fewest ever allowed by Nashville, besting the previous mark by seven (23, on April 18, 2007 at San Jose); the four shots allowed in the first period were just two more than the franchise record for a period.
PLAYOFF QUICK HITS
The Predators will be looking for their third Game Four win in franchise history on Wednesday. The team has gone 2-2 on Bridgestone Arena ice in the fourth game of a series, with the previous two wins coming against Detroit (in 2004 and 2008). A win would mark the first time in franchise history that Nashville has won three games in a series… The Predators have now scored at least three goals in each game of the series, the first such time it has done so in club history… Martin Erat has taken over first in franchise scoring (7g-9a-16pts), having picked up two points (1g-1a) in Game Three to move him one point ahead of Shea Weber and David Legwand. Legwand led the team in scoring in last year’s postseason, picking up seven points (2g-5a) in six games, tying Paul Kariya for highest single-series output in franchise history… Mike Fisher leads all Predators in playoff experience with 78 games – prior to 2011, all were with the Ottawa Senators. Including Monday’s games, Fisher continues to lead all playoff scorers (3g-2a-5pts)… Pekka Rinne picked up the win in Game Three, moving him past Tomas Vokoun into first in franchise playoff victories (four)… Jonathon Blum, Blake Geoffrion, and Matt Halischuk all made their NHL playoff debuts in Game One. Cal O’Reilly and Anders Lindback have yet to appear in an NHL playoff game.
WESTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS GAME THREE
The 16 total shots allowed were the fewest ever by an opponent in a postseason game, and the 21-shot advantage enjoyed by the Predators nearly tripled the previous record (an eight-shot advantage over Chicago in Game Three of last year’s Western Conference Quarterfinals)… Ryan Suter picked up a pair of assists and now has three points in the series, doubling his total postseason production prior to this season (2g-1a, 17gp). Suter was +2 in Game Two, while his defensive partner Shea Weber was a game-high +3… Pekka Rinne earned his fourth win, moving him ahead of Tomas Vokoun for the most postseason wins in franchise history… The teams combined for 71 hits, the most in any of the three games so far (52 in Game One; 47 in Game Two). Shane O’Brien led the Predators with six hits while Kostitsyn and Erat were the only skaters failing to record hits… The Predators are now 4-for-16 on the power play in the series, after going 1-for-27 last year against Chicago.
REGULAR SEASON SERIES WRAP-UP
Nashville won the season series with Anaheim 3-1, outscoring the Ducks 17-11. The series included a pair of three-goal wins including an opening-night 4-1 victory, and a 5-4 decision in the finale on March 24. Patric Hornqvist led all Predators in scoring vs. Anaheim, putting up seven points (3g-4a) in four games. Sergei Kostitsyn had four points (3g-1a) in two games against Anaheim, missing the first two meetings between the teams. Hornqvist and Cody Franson were each a team-high +6. Shea Weber and David Legwand each had a shorthanded goal against the Ducks in 2010-11, two of Nashville’s five total. In three games (all victories) against the Ducks in the regular season, Pekka Rinne posted a 2.21 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage. Nashville had been 16-21-7 against Anaheim prior to 2010-11, but split the series in both 2008-09 and 2009-10.