The Ducks (6-5-1, 13 points) wrap up a two-game homestand tonight against the Nashville Predators (5-5-2, 12 points) at Honda Center. (7 p.m. PT, TV: Prime Ticket, Radio: AM 830). Anaheim enters tonight's game winners of four of its past six games (4-2-0) dating to October 20 vs. Montreal. In the midst of playing nine of 11 games at home, the Ducks will remain in California through November 25, as the club's next three road games (including tomorrow at San Jose) will be played within the state. This represents the first game against a Western Conference opponent since October 13 in Colorado, the longest stretch this season without playing a team in the West.
Anaheim is coming off a 3-1 loss at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night, which snapped a two-game winning streak. The loss was only the second defeat for the Ducks in the past six games and their first regulation setback to the Maple Leafs since Jan. 6, 2015. Ondrej Kase scored the lone goal for Anaheim, tying his career high in goals (5) set last season in 53 games.
Tonight's matchup opens a three-game season series between the Ducks and Predators and the first meeting at Honda Center since Game 5 of the 2017 Western Conference Final on May 20, 2017 (3-1 Nashville win). "Whenever you lose to somebody, you want to get them back," said Ducks defenseman Josh Manson. "You're always looking for that grudge match. There might be a little more on the line, a little more pride or something, you can say, towards this game."
The Ducks come into tonight's game with a 38-22-7 all-time record against the Predators, including a 25-6-3 mark at home. Anaheim has won five consecutive regular season home games against Nashville, one shy of the club record. (The Ducks won six straight against the Predators from Nov. 1, 2005-Jan. 7, 2008). The Ducks took two of three last season against the Predators, including both matchups at Honda Center. Ducks right wing Corey Perry leads active Ducks in career scoring against Nashville with 32 points (14g/18a) in 41 games. This three-game season set will conclude with two contests at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday, December 2 and Thursday, March 8.
"We know it's going to be a tough game," said Ducks forward Rickard Rakell. "It's always tough against them. It feels like they've gotten better this year, so we're really going to have to be on our toes to keep up with them."
Despite keeping the majority of its team from last year intact, it's been a sluggish start for the Predators. Nashville comes in on a two-game losing streak with defeats at home to the New York Islanders (6-2) last Saturday and on the road in San Jose (4-1) on Wednesday. Overall, the Preds have dropped four of their past five games (1-3-1) and have not scored more than two goals in a game since a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on October 17 (six games ago). This is the midway point of a four-game road trip that continues tomorrow in LA and concludes next Tuesday in Columbus. Filip Forsberg paces the club in scoring through 12 games with eight goals and 13 points. The 23-year-old left wing ranks tied for seventh in the NHL in goals and is one shy of 100 in his career. Pekka Rinne enters the game with a 5-2-2 record, 2.10 goals-against average and .931 save percentage in nine games this season. New to the club this season are free-agent signings Nick Bonino (currently injured), Scott Hartnell (originally drafted by Nashville in 2000), Alexei Emelin (trade with Vegas) and Sam Girard (drafted by Nashville in 2016).
Video: The Ducks preview their matchup with the Predators