Ducks took the first two meetings by identical 3-2 scores that were decided by shootout. A look at the Predators record is to wonder. How does a team that scores at a rate of just 2.10 per game win at P% of .575 on a record of 9-6-5? If our Ducks peek over the shoulder they’ll find these Preds are 4th overall in the Western Conference.
Everything starts between the pipes for Nashville where Pekka Rinne rules his crease with a scintillating 1.90 GAA, .926 SP, 3 shutouts and oh BTW he also assisted on a goal this season.
All the prognosticators said the Predators wouldn’t survive the loss of Ryan Suter who signed as a UFA with Minnesota last summer. The same prognosticators were unfamiliar with Roman Jossi. The 22-year-old native of Bern, Switzerland has 3 goals and 4 assists while establishing himself alongside Shea Weber.
The good news for Ryan Getzlaf and Ducks fans is match-up center Paul Gaustad is listed as questionable and match-up D-man Hal Gill is listed as doubtful.
Ducks are coming off a disappointing loss to Battle of Cali Los Angeles Kings. Meanwhile, Nashville enjoyed an unusual offensive explosion defeating Dallas 5-4 in OT Monday night.
This tilt opens the first of a three game road swing through California. Nashville has this swing tickled on the calendar as must win games if they hope to make playoffs.
As always, hockey games are won and lost by controlling the gaps and exploiting the seams. Look for both of these D-first squads to take away time and space from their opponent.
Note: Ducks sent center Peter Holland to Norfolk and called up Emerson Etem. This might cause Bobby Ryan to move back to center on the second line.