Anaheim has had a rough time with Nashville the last few years. (PHOTO: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports)

Central Division: Preds Host Ducks, Blackhawks Top Sharks

It was a busy day in the Central Division yesterday as every team but the Nashville Predators saw action outside the division. The Preds took the day off to rest up for tonight’s matchup with Anaheim.

Around The Central Division: February 16, 2013

YESTERDAY

Pacific Division topped Central Division in Detroit

Anaheim scored three unanswered to end the game in Detroit. (PHOTO: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

Anaheim Ducks 5, Detroit Red Wings 2

The Red Wings played without Pavel Datsyuk last night and lost to the Ducks at home for the first time in five years. Detroit took two one-goal leads in the second, only to see the Ducks tie things back up each time. Then Anaheim scored three unanswered goals in the third to improve to 4-1-0 on its current road trip.

Viktor Fasth (7-0-0) got the win, Jimmy Howard (6-5-2) took the loss. Octopus Thrower laments the absence of Datsyuk.

Chicago Blackhawks 4, San Jose Sharks 1

The San Jose Sharks started off the season with seven wins in the month of January. Now they have a matching set thanks to seven losses in the month of February. It was an ugly game with 36 penalty minutes between the two teams, including this bizarre Jonathan Toews-Joe Thornton fight:

Ray Emery (4-0-0) stopped 28 of 29 shots for the win, Antti Niemi (6-2-3) took the loss. Blackhawk Up looks back.

St. Louis Blues 5, Calgary Flames 2

The Blues continued to shake off the funk of a five-game losing streak with their second straight win last night in Calgary. David Perron bagged two power-play goals and rookie Justin Schwartz got his first as an NHL player. Fellow rookie Jake Allen (2-0-0) got the win, while Flames waiver pickup Joey MacDonald (0-1-0) took the loss.

Pacific Division topped Central Division last night

Lots of this last night in L.A. (PHOTO: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

Los Angeles Kings 2, Columbus Blue Jackets 1

An unassisted goal from Kyle Clifford and a power-play marker from Mike Richards propelled Los Angeles to just its fifth victory of the year. It was Richards’ 400th career NHL point, and it was the difference. Jonathan Bernier (2-1-0) earned the win for the Kings (and only had to stop 12 of 13 shots to do it). Sergei Bobrovsky (2-4-2) took the loss for Columbus. Rink Royalty has the recap.

Transactions

Chicago Blackhawks recalled G Henrik Karlsson from Rockford (AHL).

Columbus Blue Jackets activated D Adrian Aucoin from injured reserve.

Detroit Red Wings recalled RW Gustav Nyquist from Grand Rapids (AHL), placed F Todd Bertuzzi on injured reserve, and reassigned RW Willie Coetzee to Grand Rapids from Toledo (ECHL).

Standings

Leaders

Points: Patrick Kane (CHI) – 21
Goals:
Patrick Kane (CHI) – 9
Assists:
 Henrik Zetterberg (DET), Kevin Shattenkirk (STL) – 13
PIM:
Jared Boll (CBJ) – 65
Wins:
Corey Crawford (CHI) – 7
GAA:
Pekka Rinne (NSH) – 1.61
SV%:
Pekka Rinne (NSH) – .938
Shutouts:
Pekka Rinne (NSH) – 3*

* – denotes league leader

TODAY

Central Division hosts Pacific in Nashville tonight

It was a shootout between these two teams last time. (PHOTO: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)

Anaheim Ducks (10-2-1) at Nashville Predators (7-3-4)
7:00 p.m. CST

For the last of its four straight games at home, Nashville gets to take on the second-hottest team in the Western Conference. Roster-wise this team isn’t a whole lot different than the one the Preds beat in the playoffs a couple of years ago, other than Viktor Fasth in net. Coach Bruce Boudreau seems to have unlocked something in this team that Randy Carlyle couldn’t, though, and the Ducks have 10 wins in their first 13 games. That includes a comeback victory in Chicago just a few nights ago and the win at Detroit last night.

Check out my preview.

Central Division versus Pacific

Columbus managed just 13 shots last night. (PHOTO: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)

Columbus Blue Jackets (4-8-2) at Phoenix Coyotes (6-6-2)
7:00 p.m. CST

The Coyotes’ consolation prize for getting shut out in Nashville on Thursday is a home game against Columbus. The Blue Jackets were run into the ground by the Kings last night and will need to manage more than 13 shots on goal to beat goalie Mike Smith.

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Tags: Central Division Nashville Predators

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