The Nashville Predators continued their dominance of the Anaheim Ducks getting 2 early first period goals and 3 point nights from Craig Smith and Patric Hornqvist for a 4-2 win. Nashville finishes their roadtrip with a 3-1-1 record and heads back home Saturday for their 1,000th game in franchise history against the Montreal Canadiens
Powerplay – 0 for 3, 0%
Penalty Kill – 5 for 5, 100%
Best Play of the Game: Craig Smith gets a beautiful feed from Colin Wilson late in the third period and puts the puck through Jonas Hiller’s five-hole, giving the Predators a 4-2 lead they wouldn’t relinquish
Worst Play of the Game: Cam Fowler was able to get a elevating wrister past Pekka Rinne in the final minute of the first period to make it a 2-1 game
My Three Stars:
#1: - Craig Smith – 2 goals, 1 assist on the night. Smith takes the league lead in points for rookies and has it all to himself with a 2 point cushion.
#2: - Patric Hornqvist – 3 assists on the night, however his goal-scoring streak has effectively ended.
#3: - Colin Wilson -1 goal, 1 assist on the night. Glorious night for Colin Wilson tonight as he may have found a great spot on a line with 27 and 15.
Nashville and Anaheim is clearly a rivalry. Albeit in it’s youth stage, these teams just do not like each other, and it shows on the ice. Pekka Rinne was back in net this evening and continued his dominance against the Anaheim Ducks collecting his 4th straight win dating back to Game 5 of last years Western Conference Quarterfinals.
The scoring started early in the first period with Craig Smith literally banking a puck off of Jonas Hiller’s leg-pad only 1:20 into the game. Nashville wouldn’t let up from there, getting a goal from Colin Wilson at 4:54. Yet, after being dominated for an entire period, Anaheim would get on the board with 39 seconds left to go in the first period on a Cam Fowler wrist shot.
Although Nashville dominate the first twenty minutes, Anaheim came out with a lot of energy in the second getting plenty of chances to tie the game up. However, a questionable penalty shot call from the referees during an Anaheim powerplay gave Martin Erat a chance and he converted. Erat made it 3-1 on his short-handed penalty shot at 12:48. However, the Ducks Francois Beauchemin wouldn’t give up depositing a goal less than 90 seconds later to bring it back to a 1 goal game.
The Predators took control in the third period, though, and stretched out their lead further. 96 seconds into the third, Craig Smith gets his 2nd goal and third point of the game to make it 4-2 Nashville. Anaheim would get some chances here and there throughout the rest of the period, but that would be all she wrote.
Stay tuned to The Predatorial on Saturday morning for the gameday preview of the Montreal game!
Stay frosty, friends.