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Ducks look to bounce back vs. Predators

by Mike G. Morreale /

PREDATORS (6-6-1) at DUCKS (4-7-2)

Last 10 -- Predators (4-5-1); Ducks (3-6-1)

Season series -- This is the first of four meetings this season between the clubs. The Predators finished 2-0-2 against the Ducks in 2008-09, outscoring (12-11) and outshooting (125-115) their Western Conference foe in the four meetings.

Big story -- The Ducks have back-to-back home games against Nashville and Phoenix before embarking on a four-game road swing through New Jersey, Columbus, Detroit and Pittsburgh. The club is currently in 14th place in the Western Conference and thought it's early in the season, the Ducks are putting themselves into a must-win situation at home. The Predators have won three straight and are .500 on the road.

Team Scope

Predators -- Nashville, which has won four of its last five games, begins a three-game road swing in Anaheim without the services of defenseman Shea Weber, who injured his foot in a 4-2 victory over Dallas on Saturday. As a result, Nashville coach Barry Trotz was doing plenty of shuffling along the blue line at practice this week. Ryan Suter, Weber's usual defensive partner, was skating with Dan Hamhuis; Francis Bouillon with Kevin Klein and Cody Franson with Alex Sulzer.

"We are back at .500 (6-6-1)," Trotz said. "We have some momentum. We are in the mix with a lot of teams. We don't mind going on the road. We are .500 in the road (3-3-1), and that is pretty good based on how we have been going."

Ducks -- Defenseman James Wisniewski was suspended by the NHL for two games without pay Monday for a hit on Phoenix Coyotes forward Shane Doan on Saturday. No penalty was assessed, but the NHL penalized Wisniewski for "a forearm blow to the head." The Ducks missed him on Tuesday, when the Pittsburgh Penguins spent most of the night in goalie Jonas Hiller's lap during a 4-3 victory at Anaheim in which the visitors scored twice in 78 seconds during the third period to win the game.

Who's hot -- Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne posted a 3-0-0 record with a 0.76 goals-against average, .968 save percentage and one shutout last week. For the season, the second-year keeper has a 4-3-0 record with a 2.63 GAA, a .910 save percentage and one shutout in eight games. Anaheim's Corey Perry has scored at least once in four straight games and owns a six-game point-scoring streak (6 goals, 10 points).

Injury report -- Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere (groin) has been practicing with the club this week but remains day-to-day. Nashville right wing Martin Erat (lower body) has missed two consecutive games and is day-to-day while Weber (foot) will be sidelined 1-2 weeks.

Stat pack -- Anaheim center Ryan Getzlaf had one assist in the loss to the Penguins and now has points in six consecutive games -- registering 1 goal and 8 assists over that span. Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne tied Jean Beliveau for 38th on the NHL's all-time points list (1,219 points) and tied Neal Broten for 63rd in all-time in assists (634 assists) when he recorded one assist against the Pens.

Puck drop -- As crazy as it may sound, Anaheim is in desperation mode right now to keep within striking distance of the top teams in the Western Conference. Nashville, meanwhile, is looking for its fourth straight victory
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