Game Preview #13: Preds Face Anaheim, Try to Stop Losing Streak


By Amanda DiPaolo

Season Record:

Nashville Predators 5-4-3
Anaheim Ducks 6-7-1

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 09: Defenseman Ryan Suter of the Nashville Predators tries to catch the mask of teammate goalie Anders Lindback in a game against the Anaheim Ducks on October 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Will Anders Lindback get the start Sunday in Anaheim after Pekka Rinne let in 4 goals on 22 shots last night in Los Angeles? (Photo: Yardbarker.com)

Saturday night, the Nashville Predators were hammered by the Kings 4-1. The Predators couldn’t buy a goal, despite having several good chances on Nashville’s two power play opportunities. Nashville’s only tally came in the last few moments of the game when Shane O’Brien got his first goal as a Nashville Predator with two minutes left to play. It was the first loss the Predators have suffered at Staples Center since October in 2007.

Pekka Rinne was pulled halfway through the second period in Los Angeles. It is common for the backup to play some games in a back to back situation, but it might also be a strategic move to sit Rinne and let him get back to his proper form. Something is off right now for him, letting in 11 goals in the last three games.

Today’s game is the second game of Nashville’s third back-to-back series on the season. The Predators are 2-0 in the second half of back to backs.

Last time these two teams met was in Nashville’s season opener at home on October 9th. Nashville scored three goals in the second period and added another in the third for the 4-1 win. The home opener was also the game that saw Rinne leave in the third with a lower body injury. Anders Lindback saw his first NHL action, stopping all 7 shots he faced.

Nashville really needs to get back into the win column. But Anaheim has gotten hot after a tough start to the season. The Ducks have won their last two games and with their number one line of Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan and Corry Perry finally clicking, they are and will be hard to stop.

Like Nashville, Anaheim also has a lot of players out of the lineup. For Nashville, the story is an old one. Ryan Suter and Matthew Lombardi are out as is Martin Erat. Suter has a lower body injury, Lombardi a concussion. Erat is listed as an upper body injury. Earlier in the season he missed a few games with back spasms. It is unclear if this injury is related or not.

The newest injured players for the Ducks include Dan Sexton who needed nasal surgery, Matt Beleskey and Kyle Chipchura are both out with concussions. Andy Sutton, Joffrey Lupul, and Jason Jaffrey remain out for the Ducks.

After the game tonight, the Predators don’t play again until Thursday night when they go to St. Louis to take on the red hot Blues. Today, the New York Rangers will try to give the Blues their second loss in regulation. The only regulation loss the Blues have come at the hands of the Predators. In a very tight Western Conference, losing any number of consecutive games can really put the Predators at a disadvantage in the standings, especially as a member of the ever competitive Central Division.

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