Predators-Ducks Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 26, 2013
The Nashville Predators tend to have little trouble with the Anaheim Ducks. Both teams had plenty of it while trying to put the puck in the net their last time out. The Predators look to continue their dominance of the Ducks on Saturday night, when both clubs attempt to bounce back from their first shutout losses of the season. Nashville (1-1-2) has won six in a row over Anaheim (2-1-0) and 12 of the past 15 meetings, and that includes ousting the Ducks in six games in a 2011 first-round playoff series. The Predators followed that up by outscoring them 13-5 in last season's four matchups. They took the most recent meeting in Anaheim 3-1 on March 18, doing all of their scoring in the final period. Nashville, though, wasn't that effective offensively Thursday, losing 3-0 at St. Louis while mustering a season-low 13 shots. That came two days after the club opened its franchise record-tying seven-game road trip with a 3-1 win at Minnesota. "We didn't have too many quality chances," captain Shea Weber told the team's official website Thursday. "They just played a lot better than we did. They just beat us all over the ice." The Ducks may feel the same way after being routed 5-0 by Vancouver in their home opener Friday, accumulating a season-high 31 penalty minutes while allowing the Canucks to go 3 for 9 on the power play. "It was a weird feeling. The puck was bouncing around a little bit, and things never really settled down for us," captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "We obviously got in penalty trouble. I wouldn't say it's a concern, but special teams are a huge part of it. We lost on special teams. We didn't do ourselves any favors." Anaheim is allowing opponents to go 7 of 16 on the man-advantage, but the issue was masked while winning the first two games behind 12 total goals. Daniel Winnik was the biggest surprise of those contests, scoring four and assisting on another after he managed eight goals with Colorado and San Jose last season. The left wing doesn't have a point with a minus-3 rating over his past four games against Nashville. Getzlaf and Corey Perry have also struggled against the Predators, failing to score in the last six meetings. Bobby Ryan's drought is up to 11 regular-season games, and he hasn't found the net yet - the third season in a row he's gone the first three games without a goal. Nashville could use some production from Patric Hornqvist, who has been kept off the scoresheet for back-to-back games after getting one goal and three assists in the first two. Facing the Ducks may get him going again. He has 17 points in his past 17 over all meetings, including 10 in his last seven visits to Anaheim. Martin Erat, two goals and two assists so far, managed a point in each of last season's games with the Ducks. The Predators may give Pekka Rinne the nod in net since he's 9-2-2 with a 1.96 goals-against average in 13 career regular-season matchups. However, he's 0-1-2 this season after making 21 saves Thursday.
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