By Amanda DiPaolo
The Nashville Predators won their third contest in a row, despite being out shot 41-24. It was Pekka Rinne in net for Nashville. He moves to 11-10-4 on the season. Jonas Hiller getting the start for the Ducks, falls to 19-14-3. Nashville’s record at the Honda Center improves to 3-18-3.
Nashville opened the scoring when Jerred Smithson, stationed in front of the Ducks net, was able to jam the puck behind Hiller. Smithson put his arm up in celebration but the ruling on the ice was that there was no goal. No one saw the puck go in and Hiller was able to cover up quick.
With the play was under review, the war room in Toronto reversed the decision on the ice and called it a good goal. It was Smithson’s fourth goal of the season. Spaling picked up the assist.
Nashville had an excellent chance to go up 2-0 when David Legwand hit the post with 6:01 remaining in the first.
The first period saw no penalties called but it didn’t take long for the referees to take out the whistles in the second. Just 59 seconds into the middle frame, Shea Weber got called for tripping Bobby Ryan. Ryan would have been in alone on Rinne if Weber didn’t take the skates out from under him.
Nashville killed off the Ducks power play.
Less than a minute after the penalty to Weber expired, the Predators took a 2-0 lead when Sergei Kostitsyn passed the puck to Patric Hornqvist in front of the Ducks net and he was able to tip it into the empty net, stick side, for his 11th goal of the season.
Hornqvist has scored in each of the last three games for Nashville.
The Predators went to the power play for the first time with 15:52 remaining in the second period when Andreas Lilja was called for tripping Marek Svatos in Anaheim’s defensive zone.
The Predators were unable to score but did sustain pressure in the offensive zone. However, when Andy Sutton was called for boarding Spaling with 9:26 left to play, the Predators couldn’t get anything going on the power play.
Anaheim was sent to the power play just 22 seconds after the Sutton penalty expired when Legwand was called for slashing Teemu Selanne. Nashville killed off another penalty.
The Ducks did get on the board with 8:14 left to play in the third period. Saku Koivu took the puck in the open slot just inside the right faceoff circle and shot the puck past Rinne, glove side high.
Koivu has four goals against Nashville in three games this season.
Anaheim had one more chance on the power play to find the equalizing goal when Pekka Rinne was called for tripping Maxim Lapierre with just 3:47 left in regulation.
The Predators killed off the third power play opportunity for Anaheim and made it five consecutive games of not allowing a power play goal scored against.
When the power play expired, Hiller was pulled and the Ducks put up one last fight against Nashville, but the Predators would score two empty net goals. Kostitsyn picked up his ninth goal of the year. The second empty netter was a Shea Weber clearing shot from behind his own goal line that went the length of the ice, off the boards into the Ducks net. It was Weber’s seventh goal of the year.
It was the second time in a week that the Predators scored two empty net goals in one game.
Nashville doesn’t have much rest before playing their next game. The Predators take on the Kings Thursday night at 9:30 pm. The Kings have beaten Nashville twice already this season.
Additional Game Notes:
Wednesday night’s game was the second in a row that the line of Smithson, Joel Ward and Spaling scored a goal for Nashville.
Svatos played 11:41 minutes for Nashville, including over two minutes on the power play.
Lapierre made his debut for Anaheim Wednesday night. The Ducks acquired the center from Montreal.
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