Mighty Ducks-Predators Preview
GAME: Anaheim Mighty Ducks (27-31-10-8) at Nashville Predators (34-27-11-3).
TIME: Tuesday, 8 p.m. EST.
The Nashville Predators hope their slump is behind them as they continue to
push for their first playoff appearance.
The Predators look to win consecutive games for the first time in nearly a
month as they try to complete a season sweep of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
Nashville thought it was on track to earn its first postseason appearance a
year ago, but faltered down the stretch.
On March 7 of last season, Nashville was two games over .500 and in the
thick of the Western Conference playoff race. The Predators, however, went
winless in their last 15 games and missed the playoffs for the fifth straight
season since joining the NHL in 1998-99.
This season, Nashville moved up to sixth in the conference after beating the
New York Rangers 2-1 in overtime on Feb. 28. But the Predators went on to win
just once in their next 10 games, putting themselves in a tight battle for one
of the final two berths in the West.
Nashville ended a seven-game winless skid (0-3-3-1) with a 3-1 road win over
the Calgary Flames on Saturday.
"We've had a ton of important games, and we've got a ton more to come,"
Nashville center Greg Johnson said.
The Predators will be trying to win two in a row for the first time since
Feb. 26-28 as they face an Anaheim team they are 3-0 against this season. The
Ducks had won 13 of 20 all-time meetings coming into this season.
Anaheim won for just the second time in eight games Sunday, beating the
NHL-leading Detroit Red Wings 8-6 at Arrowhead Pond.
Sergei Fedorov scored his second goal on a power play seven minutes into the
third period, helping Anaheim to the victory over his former team in the
highest-scoring game in Ducks history.
Earlier in the game, Fedorov set up one goal and scored another as the Ducks
set a franchise record, scoring five goals in 10 minutes, 4 seconds - spanning
the first two periods - to erase a three-goal deficit.
"It's great for Sergei," Anaheim captain Steve Rucchin said. "It was
great to see him step up. He did a great job."
STANDINGS: Mighty Ducks - 72 points, 4th place, 20 PB, Pacific Division.
Predators - 82 points, 2nd place, 17 PB, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Mighty Ducks - Fedorov, 29 goals, 33 assists and 62 points;
Garrett Burnett, 153 PIM. Predators - Steve Sullivan and Scott Walker, 23
goals; Sullivan, 43 assists and 66 points; Jordin Tootoo, 127 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 21): Mighty Ducks - Power play: 17.1 percent
(50 for 292), 11th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.3 percent (274 for 325), 12th
(tied). Predators - Power play: 17.6 percent (69 for 392), 9th. Penalty
killing: 82.2 percent (272 for 331), 22nd.
GOALTENDERS: Mighty Ducks - Jean-Sebastien Giguere (16-29-6, 3 SO, 2.65
GAA); Martin Gerber (10-10-4, 2, 2.33). Predators - Tomas Vokoun (31-26-10, 3,
2.56); Chris Mason (3-4-1, 1, 2.28).
SEASON SERIES: Predators, 3-0.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 20; Predators, 3-2, OT. At Anaheim, Calif., Walker scored
at 3:34 of overtime and also had two assists, and Sullivan added a goal and an
assist to lead Nashville.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mighty Ducks - 9-21-3-4 on the road; Predators - 21-8-7-1