Skip to main content

Predators rebound, blank Ducks 1-0

by Josh Brewster / NHL.com

ANAHEIM , Calif. -- Nashville didn't let a third-period meltdown in San Jose 24 hours earlier carry over into Friday night's game against the Anaheim Ducks.

One night after Predators were lit up for six third-period goals in an 8-5 loss to the Sharks, Pekka Rinne stopped all 31 Anaheim shots and Shea Weber scored the game's lone goal in a 1-0 bounce-back victory over the Ducks.

"The way we lost last night took a lot out of us," Trotz said. "(Tonight) was a rebound game. It was about character."

The hero of the night was Rinne, who stopped everything the Ducks threw at him for his fourth shutout of the season.

"(Rinne's) been a great goalie ever since he's been here and obviously the organization wants him for the long run," Weber said. "They showed that by signing him. Obviously, he's rewarding them with some good play. His strengths are basically everything. He's a big guy, he's moves really well. He has quick feet and he's got great hands."

Rinne made a big save on Lubomir Visnovsky during the second period, and denied Jason Blake and Teemu Selanne from close-in during the third period.

"Blake was driving the net," Rinne told NHL.com. "He tried to pass the puck and Selanne was waiting on the doorstep. I was able to get my pad on it. It's one of those things when everyone is pressing the net and there's only ten minutes or so left, it's always hard to contain the puck. You're always going to leave some rebounds. Our defense did a great job."

Weber's 5-on-3 power-play goal proved to be the all the offense the Predators would need to improve to 2-3-0 since returning from the Olympic break and move into sole possession of seventh place in the Western Conference with 79 points, two ahead of idle Calgary.

A key to the Predators' victory was their refusal to go into a defensive shell after starting the third period with a one-goal lead. The Ducks came on strong, but Nashville matched Anaheim's eleven shots during the final frame.

"It's really hard to defend in this League if you stop skating," Trotz said. "In the old days you could hook and hold your way to a 1-0 win. You can't do that any more."

The Ducks' playoff hopes took another hit. Anaheim remained 13th in the West with 68 points, nine behind the eighth-place Flames, and fell to 0-4-1 since the Olympic break. The loss ended a 16-game streak at home in which the Ducks earned at least one point against the Predators.

A series of penalties in rapid succession resulted in the game's first goal.

Six seconds after a boarding penalty to Aaron Ward expired, the Ducks' defenseman returned to the penalty box for interfering with Weber. Just 17 seconds later, Ryan Getzlaf was called for high-sticking David Legwand and the Predators took full advantage of the two-man advantage after an earlier call on Nashville's Patric Hornqvist expired.

Anaheim Coach Randy Carlyle found the Getzlaf penalty curious.

"I don't think he cross-checked the player," Carlyle said. "The player kind of embellished, but (Getzlaf) did put his stick up at shoulder (level). That was a frustration thing from Getzlaf, but I don't think he did actually cross-check the player. I don't think he made contact with him."

Weber got what proved to be the game's only goal at 17:54 when he teed up a slap shot from the right point that beat Jonas Hiller on the glove side. It was Weber's third goal in his last seven games and 13th of the season. Ryan Suter and Jason Arnott assisted on the goal. It was Suter's sixth point in his last seven games.

"I thought we did a really good job in the neutral zone, trying to eliminate their speed," Nashville's Steve Sullivan said. "They have one or two lines out there that really like to come through the neutral zone with a lot of speed. We were able to slow them down and not allow them to come at us off the rush very effectively."

The Predators are now 21-1-0 when leading after the first period, and 8-5 in the second half of back-to-back games.

The Ducks enjoyed only 50 seconds' worth of power play time on two opportunities.

"Do you think there were any penalties that could have been called on Nashville tonight?" Carlyle asked. "It is amazing that we can go through a whole hockey game and not draw a (full) power play."

Anaheim's top line of Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan was held in check. Getzlaf had no shots and three giveaways. Perry has one goal in his last five games and Ryan, none.

Carlyle said Getzlaf, in particular, needs to pick up his play.

"A lot of it has to do with a lack of moving his feet, making more plays standing still," he said.

Hiller, who made 27 saves, kept the score close with big saves in the second period on two shots from in close by Marcel Goc and another by Jonathan Tootoo.

It was just the second regulation loss to Nashville at Honda Center in Anaheim's franchise history, the only came on Jan. 31, 2001. The Ducks are 17-2-3 lifetime against the Preds at home.

With his team's playoff hopes melting away, Carlyle doesn't like what he sees.

"I still think as a group we don't seem to be engaged emotionally in the hockey game," Carlyle said. "There is for spurts, but not for 60 minutes right now. That is what has been really been frustrating for everybody. The bench is quiet. The room is quiet. It's like we're waiting for something bad to happen."

View More