By: Matthew Garcia
The Anaheim Ducks were playing in the final game of their three-game road trip tonight. Their final stop, Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee for a tilt with the Predators. Nashville and Anaheim met at Honda Center back on October 26th where they took it to the Predators winning by a final score of 6-1, chasing Pekka Rinne while in the process. Anaheim would be looking for a repeat performance tonight.
From the beginning puck drop Anaheim came flying out of the gates looking to get on the board early, but Rinne was on top of it tonight shining very bright in the early stages of the game stopping several point-blank opportunities from Ducks winger Corey Perry. Anaheim carried most of the play throughout the entire first period, playing the best opening period in the past couple of games. But, late breakdowns in their defensive zone cost them at the end of the period. First Gibson would come up big after he hit a puck with his blocked into the air, losing sight of it until it landed directly in front of him here he was forced to make a save on Filip Forsberg directly in front of him to keep it tied at 0. A couple of seconds later another lapse in the Anaheim defensive zone saw Ryan Ellis strike for Nashville at the 19:57 mark of the first converting on a pass from Forsberg. Nashville would take a 1-0 lead into the intermission.
Anaheim would be gifted a perfect opportunity to draw even at the beginning of the second period as Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban received a 4-minute double minor for high sticking. Anaheim would put plenty of pressure on Nashville’s penalty killing unit but would be unable to put one past Pekka Rinne. The best opportunity on the power play saw Ryan Getzlaf fire a shot that would ring off the post and get sent to the corner. Later in the period Jared Boll would take an exception to a cross check that went uncalled on teammate Ryan Garbutt and receive a fighting major going up against Cody Bass. Three minutes later Nashville would strike once more taking a 2-0 lead as James Neal found the back of the net for his 5th of the season. Down 2-0 Anaheim would receive another power play chance as Mike Fisher would get sent to the box on a hooking call. The Ducks would get dealt another blow as the Predators had cleared the puck down the ice, but Viktor Arvidsson would press the issue forcing a turnover behind the Anaheim net and lay on pass on the stick of Colton Sissons who would bury a shorthanded goal to give Nashville a 3-0 lead. A little more than a minute later Nashville would lead a rush up ice and would take a 4-0 lead right before the intermission off a one-timer goal from Forsberg. Jonathan Bernier would be put in the game, replacing John Gibson for the night.
With Bernier in net, the Ducks would look to get on the scoreboard and try to put a dent in Nashville’s lead. An early penalty against Garbutt for slashing would stall the Ducks opportunity to do just that. Anaheim would successfully kill off the penalty remaining perfect on the night going 3/3 on the PK. However, another lapse in discipline saw the Ducks take another penalty just more than a minute later as Josh Manson took a cross-checking penalty. This time the Predators would make the Ducks pay as James Neal would convert on the power play opportunity just 16 seconds into the man advantage giving him his 2nd of the night and the Predators a 5-0 lead. With a big lead, the Predators would coast to the final horn.
Final Score: Anaheim-0 Nashville-5
Anaheim would finish the road trip 1-1-1 and take home 3 out of a possible 5 points on this 3 game road trip placing them 3rd in the pacific division. Anaheim won’t be in action again until Tuesday as the return to Honda Center to take on Connor McDavid and the first place Edmonton Oilers. Edmonton currently holds a 2 point lead over the Ducks in the division. Game time on Tuesday will be 10PM ET/7PM PT.
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