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Rinne makes 38 saves, Predators defeat Ducks

by Robby Stanley /

NASHVILLE -- Pekka Rinne made 38 saves to help the Nashville Predators to a 3-2 win against the Anaheim Ducks at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday.

Rinne faced a combined 30 shots in the second and third periods, but he didn't mind the workload.

"I like it," Rinne said. "I don't want to complain when we score a lot of goals and I don't get a lot of shots. That's fine too, but for sure, if I'm just thinking about myself, it's fun to play these games where you get more shots and more saves."

Rinne stopped Ducks forward Carl Hagelin on a breakaway midway through the second period, and then made a save on Hagelin's rebound attempt. He felt those saves were a big difference in the game.

"You just try to be ready for anything," Rinne said. "I was happy to make that save and then the rebound, and then [Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis] played goalie after that rebound. It was a team effort, I guess, at that point, but a key moment in the game, for sure. They had a couple of breakaways there in the second period, and we were able to keep them out. That was a big sequence."

Rookie forward Miikka Salomaki gave the Predators (11-3-3) a 3-1 lead at 6:13 of the second period on a redirection that got past Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen. Salomaki tipped defenseman Mattias Ekholm's shot for his first goal.

"He's been good," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said of Salomaki. "He's a straight-line player. He goes in straight lines, whether it's for the puck, the hit or the net. He works hard every day. He can skate, he's physical, he can make plays and he's been a really good addition to our group since he's been up here."

Andersen was pulled after Salomaki scored; he allowed three goals on 10 shots. Anton Khudobin replaced him.

"The last three starts, I thought [Andersen] was a tad off from what I expect from Freddie, and I think from what Freddie expects from himself," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Knowing him, he'll get back to it and he'll be fine."

Mike Santorelli, who played 22 games for the Predators last season, scored on a rebound to pull the Ducks (6-9-4) to within 3-2 at 5:33 of the third period. Defenseman Kevin Bieksa took the original shot, and Santorelli drove to the net and scored his third goal.

"They really picked it up in the second and third," Laviolette said. "They played a good game. They played a strong game. They definitely, I think as the game went on, ratcheted up the speed. We didn't match that speed."

Shea Weber gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 9:33 of the first period on a slap shot from the point on the power play. Defenseman Roman Josi passed the puck to Weber, who one-timed the puck past Andersen for his sixth goal. It was Josi's 100th career assist.

Anaheim forward Rickard Rakell tied the game 1:14 later on a wraparound goal. He took the pass from defenseman Cam Fowler in the neutral zone, went behind the Nashville net and beat Rinne to the post for his third goal.

James Neal gave the Predators a 2-1 lead at 13:13 of the first period on a wrist shot from the neutral zone that squeezed through Andersen's five-hole. It was Neal's ninth goal.

"Anything can happen when you put it on the net, obviously, but that was just a lucky one," Neal said. "I don't know if it landed weird or what happened. I didn't really get a good look at it, but I was surprised that it went in."

Khudobin made saves on all 11 shots he faced in relief.

Nashville went 3-1-1 on its five-game homestand and is 7-1-2 at Bridgestone Arena.

"We had a lot of ups and downs," Predators defenseman Seth Jones said. "A couple of games with seven goals and then a couple of tight ones. I think today was kind of a game that you want to look forward. We got the win, but it wasn't the way that we wanted to play. The two points is all that matters."

Ducks defenseman Josh Manson missed his second consecutive game with the flu. Korbinian Holzer replaced him in the lineup.

Anaheim will play at the Florida Panthers on Thursday in the third of its four-game road trip. Nashville will play at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday in the first of a five-game road trip.

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