By Amanda DiPaolo
Mike Fisher scored two goals, Pekka Rinne made 27 saves, and former Predator Dan Ellis was chased from the Anaheim net as Nashville defeated the Ducks 4-1 in game one of their Western Conference Quarter Final.
Nashville Captain Shea Weber opened scoring early in the first period, tallying on the power play when his slap shot beat Ellis. It was Weber’s sixth career playoff goal. Weber’s goal came just 4:13 into the period with Matt Beleskey in the box for cross checking. Fisher and Ryan Suter picked up the assists.
Last year, the Predators lost to Chicago in the opening round of the playoffs and were unable to register a power play goal until the sixth and final game of the series.
The Predators picked up two more goals in the middle frame.
Steve Sullivan got his first goal since the middle of December when he beat Anaheim’s Francois Beauchemin for a loose puck, shot it and then scored on his own rebound with just over 5 minutes left to play in the second.
Sullivan played less than seven minutes, and recorded two shots on goal.
Before the second period ended, Fisher scored on Ellis, glove side, to give the Predators a 3-0 lead with just 2:08 left. Patric Hornqvist and Kevin Klein picked up assists.
Heading into the third period, the Predators picked up where they left off, chasing Ellis from the net. Fisher picked up his second goal of the night on a wrist shot with just under a minute off the clock.
Ellis was pulled, replaced by Ray Emery who faced, and saved, six shots.
Rinne only allowed one goal all night. Teemu Selanne scored on a 5-on-3 man advantage with just 8:36 left to play in the third period. From behind Rinne, Saku Koivu found an open Selanne, who had an empty net to shoot into.
Anaheim’s big guns, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf were unable to control the pace of the game, and were even shut down on the power play, where they often shine. Ryan and Getzlaf each recorded one shot on goal. Perry had five shots, but was also on the ice for three of Nashville’s goals.
The game featured 30 minutes in minor penalties as well as the three 10 minute misconducts at the end of the game.
Colin Wilson and JP Dumont were the healthy scratches for the Predators.
The Ducks will now need to adjust their game to try to break through the Predators defense.
Game 2 is Friday night in Anaheim. The puck drops at 930 pm CT.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
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