Thursday, November 10, 2011

Predators Continue Dominance over the Ducks in 4-2 Win

For the second night in a row, the Nashville Predators faced a desperate power team coming off a bad road trip. On Tuesday, the Kings came out of their five game losing streak and won, but on Wednesday, the Preds held firm and beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-2.

The win gave the Preds a 3-1-1 record as they finished their long road trip and it vaulted them to 18 points, which is only a point behind the Central Division leading Chicago Blackhawks.

The line combination of Colin Wilson, Craig Smith and Patric Hornqvist came into their own on Wednesday as they combined for three goals and five assists in leading the Predator attack. Smith had three points including his sixth and seventh goal of his rookie season. Wilson also added a goal and an assist.

Marty Erat had the Predators' other goal that came after a horrible call that resulted in a penalty shot that he was able to convert.

If there was a disappointment on the evening, it had to be Hornqvist being awarded the Predators' second goal to extend his streak, only to have it changed to Wilson late in the contest. He did have three assists during the game.

Pekka Rinne returned to the net after getting a day off on Tuesday and stopped 31 of 33 Ducks' shots to improve his record to 8-4-2. Jonas Hiller stopped 28 of 32 Predator shots in the loss.

The Preds returned home after the game and were expecting to arrive in Nashville at about 4:30 a.m. on Thursday.

After a day off, preparation will begin for the Predators 1000th game celebration on Saturday at 6 p.m. against the Montreal Canadiens as the team begins a five game home-stand which will be the only games in Nashville during November.

Go here for POTG discount tickets for the Montreal game as well as all remaining games and use the offer code preds.
Comments from the Couch...

First period...

David Legwand (upper body) and Teemu Laakso (healthy) were scratches and Nick Spaling (groin) is still on the IR.

Pekka Rinne (7-4-2, 2.33, .929) was back in goal for the Preds and Jonas Hiller (4-5-3, 2.85, .902) started for the Ducks.

The Predators got the quick start that they wanted at 1:20 with a goal by Smith who wrapped-around wide to Hiller's right and threw the puck at the net and it bounced off the goalie to give the Preds a quick 1-0 lead.

The Preds went on the power play during the next shift when Andrew Gordon drove Jack Hillen into the boards but did not get off a shot.

The Preds came back again quickly at 4:54 when the puck was behind the net and Wilson centered the puck to the crease and either Hornqvist or Saku Koivu knocked the puck into the net past Hiller. Hornqvist originally got credit for his seventh goal in eight games which would have set the Preds' franchise record for a goal streak but it was later changed to a goal for Wilson.

The Preds and Ducks swapped penalties when Brandon McMillan reacted to a Tootoo hit by roughing him in the face with his stick at 12:36. Thirty-seven seconds later, Marty Erat accidentally caught Gordon in the face with his stick on a follow through.

As the period was winding down, Fowler scored on a shot from the blue line with 38.6 left to pull the Ducks within one to end the period at 2-1.

 1st Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        2        12        16      1-2:00  11-15 42% 
Ducks        1        11        22      2-4:00  15-11 58%

Second Period...

As the second period started, the Predators received a scare when Erat was leaving the ice at :59 on a change and the puck ricocheted off Mike Fisher's skate and caught Erat in the face. Erat missed a couple of shifts but returned.

Pekka Rinne had a one-on-one encounter with fellow countryman Teemu Selane at 1:23 on a breakaway and came out unscathed.

Corey Perry drew a high sticking penalty from Tootoo at 2:25 to put the Ducks on the man-advantage.

The pipe was Rinne's best friend at 4:37 when Bobby Ryan rung one off the goalpost. Ryan was then called for hooking, two seconds later.

The Predators did not get their first shot of the period until 9:28 when Jon Blum put the puck on net but ended up winning the period shot count 12-11.

Smith was called for hooking Andrew Cogliano at 11:33. During the penalty kill, Erat got a breakaway and was marginally impeded by Lubomir Visnovsky and a penalty shot was awarded. Erat scored the (short-handed) penalty shot goal on Hiller's high glove side to give the Preds a 3-1 lead.

On the next series, Erat got another breakaway and broke for the net and was tackled by Luca Sbisa and no call was made. It was probably two of the worst potential penalty shot calls made in recent memory. The net result was one penalty shot but it was on the wrong play.

The Ducks responded quickly when Perry and Beauchemin were beating on the puck in front of Rinne and Beauchemin was finally able to shove it into the net to bring the Ducks back within one at 3-2.

Frankie Bouillon had a pair of shots on the net on a great move toward the net at 18:50 and 18:53 either of which could have gone in had it not been Hiller's solid moves.

 2nd Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        1        12        18      2-4:00 11-10 52%
Ducks           1        11        24      1-2:00 10-11 48%

Third Period...

The Predators started the third period with Ryan Suter paired with Kevin Klein and Shea Weber playing with Bouillon.

Nashville jumped on Hiller quickly when they got the puck deep and started a cycle and Wilson found Smith in the slot for a bang-bang type goal that put the Preds ahead 4-2.

Ryan Getzlaf came close to a goal at 5:49 when he rang a shot of the goal post.

Getzlaf and Jerred Smithson got tied up at 11:39 and Smithson was not happy about being called for interference.

Wilson may have put on the drive of his career when he was mugged all the way down the ice and got a shot off at 14:23.

Rinne had an interesting series of saves at 15:06 and at the same time Gordon pounded Weber in the face with his stick on a no-call. The only result of the skirmish was Suter being called for holding Matt Belesky in a separate incident.

 3rd Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        1         8        12       2-4:00 4-14 22%
Ducks           0        11        25       0-0:00 14-4 78%

Final      Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators            4        32        46      5-10:00 26-39 40%
Ducks           2        33        71      3-6:00 39-26 60%

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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