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Friday, March 12th (All times eastern)

Nashville Predators (36-26-5) at Anaheim Ducks (30-28-8), 10 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Anaheim Ducks aim for their first win in nearly a month tonight when they host a Nashville Predators club that is struggling to hold onto one of the last playoff spots in the Western Conference.

The Ducks have dropped four straight (0-3-1) since the Olympic break, meaning they haven't won a game since February 14. Anaheim will try tonight to avoid matching its longest losing streak of the season, an 0-2-3 stumble from November 29-December 6.

The Ducks began their current seven-game homestand at Honda Center with a shootout loss to Montreal on Sunday prior to Tuesday's 5-2 setback in Columbus on Tuesday.

Anaheim trailed 3-0 going into the third period before goals by Lubomir Visnovsky and Ryan Getzlaf in the frame pulled it within one. However, the Ducks failed to get any closer.

Jonas Hiller allowed three goals on 20 shots but was pulled in the second period. Curtis McElhinney, who was acquired last week from Calgary for Vesa Toskala, made his debut with the Ducks and turned aside seven shots in relief.

Anaheim, which was without Teemu Selanne because of flu-like symptoms, lost for the third straight time at home since a franchise-record 11-game home winning streak and have fallen nine points behind Nashville and Calgary for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference.

"You can't come out of a break looking for a playoff run and then drop four straight," said Bobby Ryan, who had two assists. "It's unacceptable."

Nashville will look to take advantage of slumping Anaheim tonight in an effort to strengthen its playoff bid. The Predators have lost three of their last four and are a mere one point up on the ninth-seeded Red Wings in the standings.

The Preds were in San Jose last night and took a two-goal lead into the third period before getting outscored 6-1 in the final frame on the way to an 8-5 setback.

Patric Hornqvist and J.P. Dumont each had two goals for Nashville, while Dan Ellis was victimized for six goals on 23 shots before he was relieved by Pekka Rinne late in the third. Rinne faced only two shots and yielded the goal to Marleau.

"There were sort of horrendous things that happened," said Preds head coach Barry Trotz. "The goaltender misplays the puck and they get it, then we come back and show come character and tie it, 5-5. Then a really bad goal for the sixth, and that sort of destroyed us at that point."

Nashville fell to 1-1 on a four-game road trip while losing for the eighth time in its last 11 games as the guest.

The Ducks have won two of three versus the Predators this year as well as six of nine and eight of the last 12 meetings. Nashville has also dropped two straight and eight of its last nine in Anaheim.

03/12 11:03:54 ET


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