|ANA||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|NSH||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
The Predators out shot the Anaheim Ducks 34-16, but were limited to just one goal by Anaheim netminder JS Giguere as the Ducks edged the Predators 2-1 at the Sommet Center on Thursday night.
Anaheim opened the scoring at the 15:12 mark of the first period when it converted its second power-play opportunity of the night. The Predators caught an unfortunate break when Jarred Smithson broke his stick while killing the penalty. The Ducks maintained possession of the puck in the Predators zone, preventing Nashville from making a line change or handing Smithson a new stick from the bench. Anaheim patiently worked the puck around the perimeter, setting up Mathieu Schneider for a slapshot from the left point. With Todd Bertuzzi setting a screen at the top of the goal crease, Brandon Bochenski skated through the slot and redirected Schneider’s shot for his second goal of the season.
|Highlights: Ducks 2, Predators 1|
Both teams had some quality scoring opportunities in the second period.
JP Dumont nearly tied the score eight minutes into the middle frame with a wrap-around attempt that ramped off Anaheim defenseman Sean O’Donnell’s stick. The shot floated over Giguere’s left shoulder, but before the puck crossed the goal line the netminder was able to bat the puck away with the outside of his glove.
Late in the second period Anaheim countered with a three-on-one break, but Ville Koistinen nullified the opportunity by deflecting the centering feed into the corner.
Nashville drew a power-play 1:24 into the third period and created quality scoring opportunities, including a feed from Dumont to Jason Arnott in the slot, but Giguere held the Predators off the scoreboard.
Anaheim increased its lead with a breakaway goal 7:26 into the final period. Corey Perry used his speed to beat the defense wide as he entered the offensive zone. Perry drove hard to the net before cutting right to left across the top of the goal crease and tucking the puck back to the right, just past Chris Mason’s outstretched leg. The goal was Perry’s 25th of the season, with assists to Ryan Getzlaf, his second point of the night, and Bertuzzi.
Arnott pulled the Predators within one goal with his 16th score of the season, a power-play blast at the 15:24 mark of the third. Dumont created the play when he curled behind the net and fired a pass to Arnott at the off-side face-off dot. Arnott fired the puck over a sliding Giguere. The assist extended Dumont’s scoring streak to 10 consecutive games (seven goals, eight assists).
Nashville created some scoring flurries late in the period, but had the comeback attempt curtailed when Dumont was whistled for an offensive zone penalty with 56.4 seconds remaining and then Martin Erat was forced to take a hooking penalty 48 seconds later to prevent Anaheim from having an empty net breakaway.
The Predators return to action Saturday afternoon when they travel to St. Louis to face the Blues in a 1 pm start.
Post-Game Notes: The Predators have only allowed five goals in the past five games ... Nashville allowed just 16 shots against, its lowest total since Dec. 16 at Colorado ... The Predators scored four power-play goals on the three-game homestand (4-18, 22.2%) … Marek Zidlicky picked up an assist on Nashville’s goal. Zidlicky has six points in the past six games, all on the power-play … Dumont has figured in the scoring of 15 of Nashville’s 28 goals during his 10-game scoring streak (53.8%) ... Dumont has figured in the scoring on six of Nashville's last seven goals. The lone exception was Erat's second period goal against Calgary last game (Jan. 15).
Head Coach Barry Trotz
On Predators' sticks breaking... "Yes, that happened a couple of times tonight and one of our penalty killers broke his stick, which prevented us from stopping them. They’ve got a pretty good power play and have been hitting it at a pretty high rate. It really puts you at an advantage when four of your guys are out there and one of them without a stick doesn’t help us, plus Anaheim can throw the puck around pretty well."
On the number of penalties the Predators took tonight... "Yeah I thought the five-on-five play, for us, gave us some good pace to our game. They had some good chances and we didn’t really want to get down with a lot of penalties but that’s just how it ended up being."
Predators Defenseman Shea Weber
On being back in the lineup… "I’ve only been back for two games, so there’s definitely a lot of things that have to get better. I think I saw the ice pretty well and things are progressing from there."
On Jean-Sebastian Giguere's play… "He’s definitely a good goalie. They battled with him all the way to the Stanley Cup finals last year. He can stop the puck. We just had to keep getting shots there and trying to get traffic and rebounds."
Predators Goaltender Chris Mason
On the outcome of the game… "I think they were both good goals. We did get a lot of shots, but I don’t think we really put a lot of pressure on them until the end of the game. It was a little too late; looked like we were coming in there with a lot of energy. We had a lot of energy at the end of the game."
On trying to change the momentum of the game… "Every hockey game, things like that happen (not converting on power-play opportunities.) We couldn’t get it tonight. At the end, we were all over them. I think we just started to put the pressure on them a little too late to pull this one out."
On Jerred Smithson breaking his stick on the penalty kill, which resulted in a Ducks goal… "It’s tough because then it almost turns into a five on three. We are kind of at their mercy. That’s the nature of those (composite) sticks. If you’re trying to block a slap shot and it hits your stick, there’s not much else you can do."
On the Ducks having Niedermayer back in their lineup… "They are good. They are good in every area. They’re big. They’re fast. All their (defensemen) are all great skaters. They just really don’t deviate from their system. That’s how they won the Stanley Cup, with a lot of grit and toughness."
|PPG - Brandon Bochenski (2) ASST: Mathieu Schneider (15), Ryan Getzlaf (34)|
1 - 0 ANA
|Corey Perry (25) ASST: Ryan Getzlaf (35), Todd Bertuzzi (15)|
2 - 0 ANA
|PPG - Jason Arnott (16) ASST: J-P Dumont (21), Marek Zidlicky (24)|
2 - 1 ANA
|Ryan Carter Tripping against Alexander Radulov|
|Martin Erat Tripping against Travis Moen|
|Ryan Suter Holding against Rob Niedermayer|
|Martin Erat Interference against Brian Sutherby|
|Corey Perry Hooking against Martin Gelinas|
|Corey Perry Slashing against Martin Erat|
|Rob Niedermayer Tripping against Marek Zidlicky|
|Martin Erat Holding against Ryan Carter|
|Francois Beauchemin Delay of game|
|Alexander Radulov Hooking against Travis Moen|
|Doug Weight Tripping against Scott Nichol|
|Kent Huskins Hooking against Alexander Radulov|
|J-P Dumont Hooking against Travis Moen|
|Martin Erat Hooking against Rob Niedermayer|
|SA: 34||TOI: 59:51|
|Saves: 33||EV: 26 - 26|
|PIM: 0||PP: 7 - 8|
|SV%: .971||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 16||TOI: 59:27|
|Saves: 14||EV: 13 - 14|
|PIM: 0||PP: 1 - 2|
|SV%: .875||SH: 0 - 0|