ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) _ Steve Sullivan continued to make a great first
impression with the Nashville Predators. Scott Walker made a lasting impression
on Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
Walker scored at 3:34 of overtime and had two assists in a 3-2 victory over
the Anaheim Mighty Ducks on Friday night. Sullivan had a goal and an assist,
giving him six points in two games with the Predators since being obtained from
Chicago on Monday.
``This is the first time I'm interested in other hockey games,'' said
Sullivan, who was buried at the bottom of the Western Conference standings
before the trade. ``I'm looking up to watch the scores. It's an awesome feeling
to be in the thick of things.''
The Predators, in search of their first playoff berth _ they're two points
in front of Los Angeles for the final Western Conference seed _ outshot Anaheim
14-0 over the final 12:36 of the first period. They opened the scoring just 12
seconds before intermission.
Sullivan, who had three power-play goals and an assist in his Predators
debut Wednesday night, beat Giguere to the glove side with a short wrist shot
after Anaheim defenseman Keith Carney dived to block Sullivan's intended
cross-ice pass to Kimmo Timonen.
It was the 19th goal this season and 12th in 12 games for Sullivan, who was
leading Chicago with 15 goals and 43 points before he was Nashville obtained
him for a pair of draft picks.
``I don't think anybody would expect six points from him in the first two
games, but we'll take it,'' coach Barry Trotz said. ``He's fit in really well.
He's excited to be here and the guys are excited to have him. He's a very
skilled player who pressures you with his speed and his intensity. And when he
gets the puck, he makes good plays.''
The Predators are hoping Sullivan can do for them what former Blackhawks
teammate Steve Thomas did for Anaheim last season. After the Ducks obtained him
from Chicago, Thomas scored 10 goals in the final 12 regular-season games to
help them secure a playoff berth. They came within one victory of winning the
``We were talking with a few people with the Ducks and they had mentioned
that that was a key moment for them last year,'' Trotz said. ``Hopefully, this
acquisition has the same effect.''
David Legwand also scored for the Predators and Tomas Vokoun made five of
his 37 saves in overtime for his career-high 26th victory.
Anaheim defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski tied it with 9:12 left in regulation
and assisted on Samuel Pahlsson's goal early in the third period. But the
Predators snapped the Ducks' five-game home winning streak.
Walker parked himself in the low slot and beat Giguerre high to the glove
side after Mark Eaton perfectly threaded a pass through two Anaheim players
from just inside the blue line.
``It's definitely not acceptable. It's four-on-four hockey, and there's no
way a guy should be left open like that,'' Anaheim captain Steve Rucchin said.
``We can't afford to be giving Nashville extra points like that.''
Legwand made it 2-0 in the second period, batting in his own rebound for his
14th goal after Sullivan set him up in front of the crease. But the Ducks
turned up the heat in the third period and outshot Nashville 18-7.
``It was a poor effort by us for two periods,'' Rucchin said. ``It was just
poor puck decisions, and you can't really make it work the way we're playing.
Obviously, the third period is something positive to take away from this game,
but I don't know why we decided to wait that long.''
Vokoun stopped Anaheim's first 17 shots before Pahlsson got his third goal
of the season with 18:27 to play. He carried the puck across the blue line and
beat the first-time All-Star goalie with a 25-foot slap shot after bouncing off
a check from Adam Hall in the neutral zone.
Vishnevski scored his fifth goal on a 30-footer from the left circle that
trickled under Vokoun's right leg and nestled just inside the right post.