By Adam Bess
The Ducks took on the Predators tonight at Bridgestone Arena, and for the 5th time this year, the result was not pretty. Nashville beat the Ducks 5-1 to tie the Stars for top spot in the West and keep Anaheim in the lower half of the conference. Several things went wrong tonight, so I”ll try to highlight the game’s action as best I can.
There was no scoring in the first period, although there were decent chances for both teams. The Ducks had consistent pressure in the offensive zone, and did a great job of clearing the defensive zone. Pekka Rinne, Nashville goalie, did well, turning away all 10 Anaheim shots. Unfortunately, this pressure would not last into the 2nd frame.
It only took 4 minutes for the Preds to score, gaining momentum from a carried-over Ducks penalty. Eric Nystrom buried one past Anton Khudobin to make it 1-0. Later, on the PP, Ryan Ellis would rocket one through Khudobin to make it 2-0. It only got worse for the Ducks when Mike Ribeiro scored to make it 3-0. The comeback kids would be needed badly in the third.
The comeback kids were nowhere to be seen. A mere three minutes into the game, Mattias Ekholm wristed one past Khudobin to make it 4-0. This goal was the worst, as it was pretty much a softie and deflated the Ducks. They got slower, hit less, and basically were waiting for the game to end. Jiri Sekac got his first goal of the season and the first Ducks PPG of the season as well to make it 4-1. With only two minutes remaining in the game, Pat Maroon took a roughing penalty and Colin Wilson scored to seal the deal even more. The final buzzer sounded and the Ducks were now 1-4-1.
There were several problems with the play tonight. One was the new guys. Carl Hagelin did not have a very big impact in the game, while Chris Stewart was downright invisible. Khudobin did not have a fantastic defense in front of him after the 1st, but a couple of the goals he allowed could have been stopped. The Ducks struggled to produce quality shots, and proved once again that quality is more important than quantity. The shots were 29-28 Preds. The score was 5-1.
There is no point in me doing the three stars of the game, as they would all be Predators. I was at the game. It was my first ever Anaheim Ducks game, and I was pretty disappointed with the on-ice product. The team needs some sort of shakeup to get going. The play the Wild on Saturday to continue the road trip, but changes must be made or the result will be the same as it has been.
Thanks for reading!