Sitting atop the
If it's being filled mostly with one-goal victories, that's fine.
Pushed hard Sunday by the aggressive
"It's not the way we draw it up, but they're a heck of a hockey team," said Ducks right wing
The Ducks (26-9-6, 58 points) improved to 3-1 on this eight-game homestand at
period, the Ducks stayed out of the penalty box in the third and outshot Nashville, 14-3, in that span.
"We just had to settle down," Perry said. "It got away from us for about four minutes there, or whatever it was, and we took a couple penalties, but those things happen, and we learn from our mistakes."
They learned they're capable of skating on the right side of a narrow line in tight games.
"Good teams know how to win those one-goal games, and that's what they are in playoffs," Kesler said. "Playoffs, they're tight, one-goal games, and if we know how to win them now, it's going to make it that much easier in playoffs."
But it's not easy on Coach Bruce Boudreau now. "The coaches would like to have a five-goal game just once in a while," he said.
That's not likely to happen, given the quality and depth in the
Kesler helped set up the Ducks' first goal by forcing a turnover in the neutral zone, though he didn't get an assist.
Nashville made it 1-1 when
The Predators, who play a more open game under Coach Peter Laviolette than they did under previous coach Barry Trotz, tied it on a power play, moving the puck well to set up a blast by defenseman Seth Jones that deflected off Kesler and
Smith converted a rebound to put the Predators ahead at 17:14 of the second period, but the Ducks didn't panic. "Even though we were down, 3-2, I thought we were the better team," Kesler said. "Other than giving up a couple of power-play goals, I thought five-on-five we took it to them."
Improving their special teams and scoring balance and staying out of the penalty box are the Ducks' priorities for the second half of their season. But they're happy to be where they are at the moment.
"We're first in the NHL. You can't really ask for more than that," Beauchemin said.
Yes, you can. You can ask and work toward being the team that lifts the