Friday, October 7th, 2005
The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim conclude a season opening road trip in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday night.
Both the Mighty Ducks and Nashville Predators recorded wins in their first games of the new season. Anaheim downed Chicago, 5-3. Nashville beat San Jose, 3-2.
Joffrey Lupul scored two goals to pace the Ducks attack while Teemu Selanne, Scott Niedermayer and Rob Niedermayer added single tallies in the victory. Andy McDonald added two assists to aid the Ducks effort.
Anaheim finished 2-9 on the power play while Chicago scored just one power play goal in the contest in nine attempts. But it was two shorthanded goals scored by the Ducks that made the difference in the game.
Rob Niedermayer tallied the final shorthanded goal at 1:40 of the third period to close out the scoring. Earlier, winger Joffrey Lupul put in a shorthanded goal at 17:30 of the first period to put the Ducks ahead for good.
“We got the two points and that’s a good way to start,” said Lupul. “The guys were real excited to get back out there after a long break. We had good goaltending, our penalty killing was good and we scored the goals when we had to.”
The Nashville Predators received a game-winning goal from Scott Hartnell with just 4:13 left in the third period of their first game with the Sharks. The Predators were assessed just 12 minutes in penalties and dominated the face-off aspect of the game, winning 69% of the draws.
Former Ducks Paul Kariya and veteran Scott Walker added goals for the host Predators before a sellout crowd of 17,113.
The penalty killing unit of Nashville was very effective against some big-time shooters. On the power play, the Predators were impressive in entering the zone, setting up and getting the puck to the net.
It will be the first of four games between the teams during the 2005-2006 regular season.
Special teams were a key for Nashville in the playoff run they made in 2003-2004. So, expect that area of the game for both the Ducks and Predators to be very important as to which team winds up on top at the end.
Following the completion of this two game road trip, the Ducks return home for a 7:30pm game against Edmonton on Monday night.