Originally posted on Inside Smashville  |  Last updated 10/30/11

The Nashville Predators shutout the Anaheim Ducks 3-0 on Saturday night to win their second game in a row.

It was a night when Pekka Rinne recorded his first shutout of the season to take the franchise record with 22, as well as his 100th career victory. However, the Predators may also be dealing with more injuries at the forward position.

Mike Fisher left the game just over 7 minutes into the first period when Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin hit Fisher near the Ducks blue line. With what appeared to be a head shot, Beauchemin was assessed a penalty for an illegal check to the head.

There was no immediate update on Fisher after the game, but he was listed as having an upper body injury.

Predators defenseman Kevin Klein immediately went after Beauchemin and was given a double minor for his efforts. 

“I came flying over. I didn’t have my gloves off. Obviously, I gave him the option. I just asked him and he kind of went down. The referees jumped in. I don’t want to go in and sucker anyone. It was just a reaction-type of thing,” Klein said about his reaction to the hit on Fisher.

Not known as a fighter, Klein is putting together quite the resume of instances where he has been the first to rush to his teammates defense.

Last January, when Francis Bouillon was hit into the boards that gave him his season ending concussion, by then Chicago Blackhawk Troy Brouwer, it was Klein who was first to react.

During the playoffs, when Corey Perry was taking liberties with Pekka Rinne on a regular basis, Klein eventually had enough and punched the Hart Trophy winner in retaliation during Game 2 of the Western Conference quarter finals.

But Klein doesn’t take credit and says it is just Predator hockey to defend teammates.   

“Our team overall, everyone sticks up for everyone, as you saw tonight with Boomer Geoffrion and [Brian] McGrattan sticking up for the guys. That’s just Predator hockey. You don’t like to see guys go down. You just sort of react,” Klein said.  

Klein was assessed a double minor on the play, but said “no comment on that one. I don’t want to get in trouble” when asked whether it was a fair penalty.

Head Coach Barry Trotz was more open about the situation. “I disagree with the call,” he said, but added that he was pleased with players such as Klein jumping in sticking up for teammates.

Rinne said Klein’s reaction in these sorts of situations speaks volumes to his character.  

“Klein is one of those guys. Everybody loves him. You can count on him. It doesn’t matter what the situation or who is out there. He is going to be the first guy helping you. It shows what kind of guy he is,” Rinne said.

Of course, not everyone agrees the hit was dirty.

Beauchemin said the hit was shoulder to shoulder. “I’m only concerned about his health because I think it was a clean hit, shoulder to shoulder. Looking at the replay myself, I think he may have hit his head on the ice when he fell down and that’s probably how he got hurt, but I’m hoping he’s okay. I really had my arm tucked in and no helmet or nothing,” he said.

Ducks Head Coach Randy Carlyle also thought the hit was clean but that maybe post hit they butted heads.

“It was shoulder on shoulder, and it’s unfortunate that Fisher wasn’t able to come back. When we looked at the replay, it looked like the point of contact was the shoulder. If anything, it looked like they hit heads. But I’m not the League and I’m not paid to make the decisions that are going to come down. We’ll hear about it if they deem it’s something we need to talk about,” Carlyle said.

On Sunday, the Predators leave Nashville for a five-game road trip that starts Monday night in Chicago. The Predators and Ducks are set to pick up their rivalry a week from Wednesday on November 9th when Nashville hits the Honda Center during their west coast swing.

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