Predators-Mighty Ducks Preview
GAME: Nashville Predators (28-22-7-2) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (21-24-8-7).
TIME: Friday, 10:30 p.m. EST.
The Anaheim Mighty Ducks look to tie a franchise record with their sixth
consecutive home win and earn their season-high fourth straight victory when
they meet the Nashville Predators.
The Ducks have struggled this season after reaching the Stanley Cup finals
in June, but they're starting to get back on track. Anaheim has won four of
five since the All-Star break and five of six overall to move within eight
points of eighth place in the Western Conference.
Anaheim beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 at home Wednesday for its third
straight win and fifth in a row at Arrowhead Pond.
The Ducks last won four consecutive games from March 22-April 1, and are
trying to match their club record of six straight home wins set in December
Vaclav Prospal broke a 1-1 tie with 1:49 left in the third period, and
Sergei Fedorov scored into an empty net with 6 seconds remaining to lead
Anaheim to the win Wednesday.
Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, last season's Conn Smythe Trophy winner
as playoff MVP, has stopped 133 of 141 shots in five starts since the break.
"It's my job to stop shots," Giguere said. "We are desperate right now.
We kept working and found a way to win."
Nashville is one of the teams Anaheim is chasing in the playoff race, and
the Predators come into Friday's game following a 7-3 home rout of the San Jose
Sharks on Wednesday behind newly acquired forward Steve Sullivan.
Traded to Nashville on Monday night by the Chicago Blackhawks, Sullivan
scored three goals on three shots and added an assist. All four of his points
came on the power play as the Predators went 5-for-7 with the man advantage.
"To be relaxed and to stay calm were the big things for me," Sullivan
said. "It was like any other game this season. I just wanted to keep things
simple. I'm happy that I was able to help out offensively because I know that
is one of the bigger reasons why they got me."
Nashville has beaten Anaheim twice this season after winning just five of
the first 20 meetings in the series.
STANDINGS (through Feb. 18): Predators - 65 points, 2nd place, 13 PB,
Central Division. Mighty Ducks - 57 points, 4th place, 15 PB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Predators - Sullivan and Scott Walker, 18 goals; Sullivan, 29
assists and 47 points; Jordin Tootoo, 116 PIM. Mighty Ducks - Fedorov, 21
goals, 29 assists and 50 points; Garrett Burnett, 98 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 18): Predators - Power play: 16.4 percent (51
for 311), 12th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.9 percent (226 for 276), 22nd.
Mighty Ducks - Power play: 17.2 percent (40 for 232), 10th. Penalty killing:
84.3 percent (215 for 255), 18th.
GOALTENDERS: Predators - Tomas Vokoun (25-21-6, 2 SO, 2.64 GAA); Chris Mason
(3-3-1, 1, 2.11). Mighty Ducks - Giguere (11-22-4, 2, 2.68); Martin Gerber
(10-9-4, 2, 2.28).
SEASON SERIES: Predators, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 21; Predators 4-3, OT. At Anaheim, Calif., the Predators
rallied from one-goal deficits three times before Scott Hartnell scored 1:31
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Predators - 9-15-2-1 on the road; Mighty Ducks - 14-7-6-3