Ducks Make Statement in Win Against Predators

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The Anaheim Ducks played one of the best games of the season on Tuesday night, beating the Nashville Predators 4-3 in a shootout. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

After a month of sloppy play, the Anaheim Ducks needed to prove to themselves that they could win against a quality opponent. That they did on Tuesday night in the form of a 4-3 shootout victory over the Nashville Predators .

It wasn’t just the outcome that was important for Randy Carlyle’s men — the manner in which they achieved it would take center stage.

The Anaheim captain, Ryan Getzlaf, who so often has been criticized throughout the course of his Ducks’ career, seized the moment in a manner in which only he could.

A notable aggression to Getzlaf’s game led to all three of Anaheim’s regulation goals, including a tally of his own in the opening frame.

The Ducks’ strong play in regulation, punctuated by a 72-32 even strength shot attempt advantage couldn’t yield the desired two points. A trip to the shootout brought them that salvation thanks to five strong saves from Bernier and a goal from Patrick Eaves.

Though difficult opponents still await them in the coming days, the Ducks showed that they could not only hang with one of the NHL’s hottest teams but look dominant in the process. That’s worth much more than two points.

First Period

The opening frame got off to a difficult start for Anaheim, as they conceded two goals in less than two minutes thanks to some shoddy defense and goaltending. Craig Smith was able to sneak behind the defense to tuck away a scoring chance, while Ryan Ellis blasted a one-timer by an unscreened Bernier.

The Ducks eventually replied, with Ryan Getzlaf jumping on a loose puck and flipping it into a gaping net. Getzlaf’s marker would end a miserable one for 35 power play slump for Anaheim. Things would get hairy towards the end of the period, as Kevin Bieksa would engage in a heated scrap with Austin Watson.

Second Period

Anaheim stumbled to open the middle frame. Forsberg lasered home a knuckling puck shorthanded, giving Nashville a 3-1 edge and seemingly giving the Predators a healthy lead.

The Ducks were quick to riposte, and then some. In a matter of minutes, Ritchie pounced on a Pekka Rinne rebound off of a Getzlaf bomb to bring the Ducks within one. A remarkable puck possession shift from Getzlaf’s trio led to the equalizer with seconds left in the period, as Rickard Rakell slammed home his 27th goal of the season.

Related:  Preview: Ducks Begin Five-Game Gauntlet Against Predators

Third Period

Anaheim had a period for the ages in the third stanza. They dominated Nashville for the better part of 20 minutes, handily winning the shot attempt battle 33-17 at even strength.

A litany of big-time stops from Rinne kept Nashville in the tilt, sending the game into overtime.

Overtime and Shootout

The extra frame was a back and forth affair, with neither side able to capitalize. The Predators had some glorious chances, as the red-hot Forsberg was shut down a number of times by Bernier off the rush.

Bernier’s strong overtime pay carried over into the shootout, as he stopped all five shooters that he faced while newcomer Patrick Eaves scored the game-winner, giving Anaheim one of its biggest wins of the season.


Scoring Summary

FIRST PERIOD

NSH– Colin Wilson (12) assisted by James Neal & Calle Jarnkrok

NSH– Ryan Ellis (12) assisted by PK Subban & Mike Fisher

ANA – Ryan Getzlaf (12) assisted by Sami Vatanen & Cam Fowler

SECOND PERIOD

NSH– Filip Forsberg (27) assisted by Calle Jarnkrok

ANA – Nick Ritchie (12) assisted by Ryan Getzlaf & Cam Fowler

ANA – Rickard Rakell (27) assisted by Patrick Eaves & Ryan Getzlaf

THIRD PERIOD

No goals scored

OVERTIME

No goals scored

SHOOTOUT

ANA – Silfverberg missed

NSH – Ellis missed

ANA – Getzlaf missed

NSH – Neal missed

ANA – Rakell missed

NSH – Forsberg missed

ANA – Perry missed

NSH – Arvidsson missed

ANA – Eaves scored

NSH – Johansen missed

THW Three Stars

First: Ryan Getzlaf (one goal, two assists)

Second: Jonathan Bernier (25 saves, 5 shootout saves)

Third: Rickard Rakell (tying goal)


NEXT UP

Nashville Predators at Los Angeles Kings

STAPLES Center – 7:30 p.m. PST on Thursday, March 9

Broadcast channels – FSTN, FSW

2016-17 Season Series: Oct. 27: Los Angeles (3) – Nashville (2) OT, Dec. 22: Los Angeles (4) – Nashville (0)


NEXT UP

Anaheim Ducks at Chicago Blackhawks

United Center – 7:30 p.m. CT on Thursday, March 9

Broadcast channels – PT25, WGN

2016-17 Season Series: Nov. 25: Chicago (3) – Anaheim (2)



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