Things went south for Pekka Rinne basically from the opening whistle. (PHOTO: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)

Anaheim Ducks 5, Nashville Predators 1: How Low Can Nashville Go?

The Nashville Predators have looked worse this season than they did last night against the Anaheim Ducks, but not by much. The team came out flat and never found a way to get into the game, losing long before the 5-1 decision was final.

The first goal by Nick Bonino at 2:48 was all Pekka Rinne, as he got stuck behind his net trying to play the puck and couldn’t get himself unstuck. The second one at 3:49 belonged to Shea Weber, who hasn’t looked worse all season than he did in letting Kyle Palmieri burn by him.

Palmieri would go on to score the next two in a row for the natural hat trick, but it turned out the first one was all he needed to give his team the win. Craig Smith did score for the second straight game at 9:27 of the second period, but by then the game was already over.

The only really good news is that the Nashville Predators doesn’t have to play against Anaheim for the rest of the season. And, given the way things are looking right now, they won’t have to worry about meeting the Ducks in the playoffs, either.

Some observations:

  • Paul Gaustad returned to the lineup last night and went 15-for-19 in the faceoff circle.
  • Nashville Predators forward Rich Clune

    Rich Clune has the first two-game scoring streak of his career after assisting on Craig Smith’s last two goals. (PHOTO: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)

    Rich Clune continues to be one of the Nashville Predators’ most potent offensive weapons, picking up his second assist in as many games on Craig Smith’s second-period goal. That’s a statement on the Preds’ offense, and it isn’t a good one.

  • Chris Mason got a little work in, playing the whole third period without giving up a goal. It’s not like Anaheim sat back on their lead, either – they outshot Nashville 7-4 in the third.
  • The Preds defense that was tops in the NHL earlier this month has fallen to seventh with no end in sight. They’re now allowing 2.29 goals per game, a shoddy total for a team whose starting goalie leads the league in shutouts.
  • David Poile was gone from his skybox before the game was complete last night. One has to hope he was off to make a deal, because this team needs help. They’ve now lost six of their last seven games, and they’ve only scored six goals in their last four (with five of those coming Monday against Dallas).

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Tags: Anaheim Ducks Nashville Predators

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