NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, January 2nd
(All times eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (16-17-7) at Nashville Predators (24-14-3), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Nashville Predators seek a third straight win tonight
in the opener of a four-game homestand versus the Anaheim Ducks at Sommet
Nashville brings a 12-7-1 home mark into this contest and is coming off a
month of December in which it went 9-4-2. The Predators closed out the month
with a 2-1 overtime triumph over the Blue Jackets on Thursday.
Joel Ward notched two assists, including one on David Legwand's game-winning
goal just 28 seconds into overtime.
"I just saw their [defenseman] fall down and I just tried to put as much
pressure as I could and stay with the puck, and fortunately I just threw it
out in front and Legwand finished it off," said Ward.
Andreas Thuresson forced overtime on a third-period tally with 7:21 left in
regulation, while Dan Ellis made 31 saves in Nashville's sixth win in its last
nine games. The club was without Martin Erat because of a knee issue and he is
unlikely to play in this contest.
The Predators, six points behind the Blackhawks for first place in the Central
Division, face a Ducks team tonight that has lost three of its last four.
Anaheim's latest setback came on Thursday, a 5-3 loss in Dallas.
Saku Koivu notched two goals, his first tallies in seven games, while Mike
Brown also scored. However, Jonas Hiller gave up all five goals on 42 shots to
take the loss.
Anaheim was without Ryan Getzlaf, who missed his second game in a row because
of a laceration to his right leg. He is questionable for this game.
The Ducks' lost the opener of a three-game road trip and suffered their third
straight loss as the guest club. They are just 5-9-5 overall on the road this
Anaheim has won three straight over Nashville, including a 4-0 home win on
November 5 in which Hiller made a season-high 40 saves. Teemu Selanne,
expected to return next week from a broken hand, had two goals.
Pekka Rinne started for the Predators and allowed all four goals on 31 shots.
01/02 10:55:36 ET