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Ducks Use Special Teams to Top Preds

Anaheim Capitalizes on Power Play and Shorthanded Chances in Win

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten /

The Anaheim Ducks scored three times on the power play and twice more shorthanded on their way to a 6-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night at Honda Center.

Jakob Silfverberg tallied twice in the middle frame for the Ducks, once with Anaheim a man down and the other with them a skater up, as the Preds struggled on special teams for the first time this season.

"We have to be tougher to play against, just generally speaking," Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "[Even-strength] play wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. Specialty teams just swung the pendulum tonight in the wrong direction, the shorthanded goals and the power-play goals were too much for any team. We have to do a better job just being harder to play against, defending our goaltender and defending our end better - we gave up too many chances."

Anaheim carried a 1-0 lead into the first intermission courtesy of a power-play goal off the stick of Nick Ritchie, and Silfverberg added two more in the second period to give Anaheim a 3-0 advantage. Corey Perry made it 4-0 for the Ducks, which spelled the end of goaltender Pekka Rinne's night, and the Ducks added two more before the period was out for a 6-0 lead after two.

Colin Wilson ended John Gibson's shutout bid at 7:43 of the third with a power-play goal, Nashville's 10th tally with the man advantage this season, but that was all the Preds could muster on the scoreboard.

"This game is a huge wake up call for us," defenseman P.K. Subban said. "You have to give them credit, they capitalized… but we can't expect [our goalies] to steal every game for us. We have to give them a chance."

The Preds get a chance to turn it around less than 24 hours more now against the Los Angeles Kings, a game that could be a determining factor in the rest of the trip.

"This is a reality check," Subban said. "In the last period, we wanted to come out and try to build some momentum into tomorrow's game, but tomorrow we're going to need a much better effort than that. IIf we want to make this a solid road trip, we can do that by starting tomorrow."


Forward Harry Zolnierczyk and defenseman Matt Irwin were Nashville's healthy scratches on the night.

The Preds are back on the ice Thursday night in Los Angeles to face the Kings on the second half of the back-to-back with a 9:30 p.m. (CT) puck drop. The game can be seen on Fox Sports Tennessee, with the Predators Live pregame show presented by Nissan beginning at 9 p.m. with Willy Daunic, Stu Grimson and Lyndsay Rowley. On the radio dial, Pete Weber and Brent Peterson have the call on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network.

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