Ducks hold off late charge by Predators for 3-2 win
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Anaheim Ducks are looking for a strong finish to a lost season.
Daniel Sprong scored for the third consecutive game, and Anaheim beat the Nashville Predators 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Ryan Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg also scored for the disappointing Ducks (28-34-9), who have won four of their past six games. John Gibson made 32 saves.
“We’re playing some pretty good hockey here,” Silfverberg said. “There’s 11 games left and we might as well make the most of it and keep playing the way we are.”
Filip Forsberg scored two power-plays goal for the Predators, who have lost two straight and four of six overall. Pekka Rinne made 15 stops.
Nashville (39-27-5) could have passed Winnipeg for first place in the Central Division with a win. Instead, the Predators were stymied by another slow start.
Anaheim was able to spring several odd-man rushes on Nashville in the first period, starting when the Ducks jumped in front at 3:39 on Getzlaf’s 12th goal. Getzlaf had a breakaway set up by Josh Manson’s stretch pass, and he scored on a wrist shot from the left circle.
Silfverberg made it 2-0 at 10:56, extending his point streak to six games. He has four goals and four assists in that span.
“It’s been a tough year so it’s nice to have maybe a little bit of brightness at the end of the year getting some goals,” Silfverberg said. “It’s the same for me as for the whole team, we’re just trying to create good habits here and try to build for the future.”
Sprong put the Ducks up 3-0 at 13:59 of the second. He sped down the right wing and cut inside before burying a backhand from the slot for his 12th goal in 53 games.
The Predators finally showed some fight in the third.
Forsberg got Nashville on the board at 14:16, with Rinne pulled for a three-man advantage after Manson put the puck over the boards for delay of game. Jaycob Megna was already in the penalty box for holding the stick of Mikael Granlund.
Forsberg cut the deficit to 3-2 at 15:14. But the Predators could not come up with a tying goal despite peppering Gibson in the final minutes.
Rinne said the inability to mount a charge earlier in the game was more frustrating knowing Nashville could have moved ahead of Winnipeg.
“It’s just a sleepy game, not much going on,” Rinne said. “It’s a situation in the season where we have a lot of things in our own hands and considering that it’s disappointing.”
NOTES: Rinne saved a penalty shot by Max Jones at 11:47 of the second period after the Ducks rookie was pulled down from behind by Nick Bonino. ... The Predators were 2 for 5 on the power play. Nashville was 6 for 80 on the power play over the previous 25 games. ... Predators D Roman Josi had an assist to extend his point streak to four games. . Granlund had two assists.
Predators: Visit the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.
Ducks: Visit the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.