Jan 31, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; Jan 31, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; The Nashville Predators celebrate their overtime victory against the New Jersey Devils at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Anaheim Ducks Visit Nashville Predators

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The Anaheim Ducks finish the pre-Olympics part of their schedule today when they pay visit to the Nashville Predators for the second and final time this season. Nashville last played on Thursday and they lost to the Minnesota Wild in over time. The Ducks last played on Wednesday when they were stymied by the Chicago Blackhawks and Corey Crawford.

Season Series: 1-0 team.teamCommonName

Last Matchup: 4-3 team.teamCommonName (January 9th, 2014)

The Ducks got off to a slow start in their previous matchup against the Predators and found themselves down 2-0 after the first period. However, the Ducks would absolutely dominate the second, scoring 4 goals and getting 18 shots. Nashville, or as they call themselves, “Smashville,” came out in the third with a lot of pressure but could not get the game-tying goal. Teemu Selanne registered the game winner and Ryan Getzlaf tallied two goals.

GAME PREVIEW:

Keys to the Game:

  • team.teamCommonName: Important to head into the Olympic break with not necessarily a win, but a good performance.
  • team.teamCommonName: The offense has been shutout twice in the past three games. They’re all Swedish and no Finnish recently. (Get it!)
  • team.teamCommonName: Important to head into the Olympic break with not necessarily a win, but a good performance.
  • team.teamCommonName: All about defense and goaltending. They get out shot on a nightly basis, but they’re goaltending always keeps them in the game.

Players to Watch:

  • team.teamCommonName – G – Jonas Hiller: One of the few guys on the team right now, actually playing well. He has a 1.77 GAA and a .942 SV% in the last 4 GP, but he’s 1-3.
  • team.teamCommonName – C  – Ryan Getzlaf: In tough times, it’s the toughest who….get…..through…….Anyway, when a team is struggling like the Ducks, it’s time for the captain to lead.
  • team.teamCommonName – F – Craig Smith: Very balanced player, except when it comes to scoring on empty nets. He’s got 2 goals and 4 assists in his last five games.
  • team.teamCommonName – C – David Legwand: Their first ever draft pick leads them in points this year and he’s averaging a point-per-game over the last couple of weeks.

Starting Goalies:

  • team.teamCommonName – Jonas Hiller: 24-9-4   2.35 GAA   .915 SV%   4 So
  • team.teamCommonName – Carter Hutton: 13-8-4   2.82 GAA   .907 SV%

Like I said before, these two teams dislike each other maybe a little more than people would expect. It’s always a tough, physical game when you play the Nashville Predators and maybe this is a perfect kind of game to end the pre-Olympic portion of the schedule. We all know how the Predators are going to play. They’ve been showing the ability to come back in games recently and the defensive pairing of Shea Weber and Roman Josi has been excellent. While star goaltender Pekka Rinne has been out with his hip injury and infection, they have gotten some solid goaltending from a pair of young goalies. One of them is Carter Hutton and the rookie is playing extremely well of late. He has a record of 6-1-1 in his last 8 games. Surprisingly, the Predators have a top-10 power play unit, so, the Ducks will have to step up their penalty kill. They’re noticeably worse on the penalty kill on the road as compared to at home. The Ducks need to be efficient tonight. We haven’t seen the offense struggle as much as they have in the last few games for a while and nobody wants this kind of offensive output hanging over their heads for 2 weeks.

Team Stats:

team.teamCommonName Stats team.teamCommonName
58 GP 59
25 W 40
23 L 14
10 OT 5
60 P 85
0.517 P% 0.720
2.47 G/G 3.20
2.90 GA/G 2.39
20.2 PP% 17.9
79.8 PK% 82.3
29.2 S/G 31.4
29.5 SA/G 28.1
53.2 FO% 49.0

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Tags: Anaheim Ducks Game Preview Nashville Predators NHL

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