Jan 26, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Nashville Predators center David Legwand (11) scores a goal on Anaheim Ducks goalie Viktor Fasth (30) during the third period at the Honda Center. The Anaheim Ducks defeated the Nashville Predators in a shootout with a final score of 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview: Third Time’s A Charm? Nashville Predators @ Anaheim Ducks

The Anaheim Ducks will faceoff against the Nashville Predators tonight for the third and final time of the regular season.  Anaheim has won in shootouts in both previous games and tonight they hope to bounce back from Monday night’s loss to the Kings with a win over the Preds.

Nashville, on the other hand, is hoping to win their 2nd in a row after beating the Stars in overtime Monday night.  Nashville currently sits at 4th in the Western Conference with 23 points, two spots back of Anaheim who hold 2nd in the Western Conference and NHL with 27 points.

The Ducks lost only their third regulation game of the season on Monday to their crosstown rivals, (and reigning Stanley Cup Champions), the Los Angeles Kings.  Despite two solid periods of play from the Ducks they couldn’t hold off the champs in the third, and the Ducks will need to forget the loss and press upward and onward tonight, hopefully keeping their 6-game, home winning streak alive.

Tonight’s game is the first of three in California for the Predators who will be making stops in San Jose and Los Angeles over the next week before returning home to face the Oilers a week from Friday.  Nashville’s offensive struggles continue as they sit second to last in goals per game in all of the NHL, this despite superstar Shea Weber finding his groove lately as evidenced by his recent streak of 7 points in 7 games.  As in previous meetings between these two clubs, the Ducks will need to find ways to get the puck past goaltender Pekka Rinne, who leads the NHL in shutouts with 3 this season.

Anaheim has seen its big guns come to life recently as Ryan Getzlaf leads the team in goals and Corey Perry has 8 points in the last 5 games.  Anaheim recently sent Peter Holland back down to the Norfolk Admirals, while also recalling Emerson Etem, who will be playing on the fourth line, (as it is suspected that Bobby Ryan will be again centering the second line).  Viktor Fasth is believed to be the starting goaltender for the Ducks tonight, and is looking for his 9th NHL win after suffering his first loss in net on Monday.

With two teams at the top of the Western Conference tonight’s game should be an exciting one, as the Predators are determined not to be swept in their regular season series with the Ducks, while the Ducks will be looking to reassert themselves after Monday’s disappointing loss.  Tonight’s game will be aired on Fox Sports Prime Ticket at 7 PM, (PST), with pregame coverage starting at 6:30 PM.


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Tags: Anaheim Ducks Corey Perry Emerson Etem Game Preview Honda Center Nashville Predators Pekka Rinne Ryan Getzlaf Viktor Fasth

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