NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
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
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
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
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
"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