Ducks get back on track with victory over Predators
The Anaheim Ducks have just two wins in 2020, both against the Nashville Predators.
Rickard Rakell had a goal and an assist, John Gibson made 33 saves and the Ducks beat Nashville 4-2 Thursday night.
Josh Manson, Adam Henrique and Derek Grant also scored for Anaheim, which snapped a four-game losing streak. Cam Fowler and Ryan Getzlaf each had two assists.
“It felt like we were all pulling in the same direction,” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said. “There was no big mistake or lapse of reason or going into a hole for five or six minutes. We were steady and settled into what I thought was a really good road game.”
Viktor Arvidsson and Mikael Granlund scored for Nashville, which lost to the Ducks for the second time in two weeks.
“No one is going to give this group confidence,” Predators coach John Hynes said. “Confidence comes through your preparation, how you’re going to play, playing the game the right way and doing the right things. That’s our task moving forward.”
Manson scored the game’s first goal at 10:01 of the opening period. From the left wall, Ondrej Kase found Manson in front, and after receiving the pass, Manson beat goaltender Juuse Saros with a wrist shot tucked just underneath the crossbar.
The goal was Manson’s first since Nov. 28, 2018.
“It’s not expected of me to score, but it’s always nice to get one,” Manson said. “That felt really good.”
Henrique doubled the Anaheim lead at 12:22 of the first. With the Ducks on a power play, Saros stopped Rakell’s shot from the left side, but Henrique skated in from below the goal line to fish the puck from between Saros’ skates and put it in for his 12th goal.
Saros made 23 saves.
Arvidsson halved Anaheim’s lead at 13:56 of the first when he redirected a shot from Roman Josi. Rakell made it 3-1 at 9:52 of the third, finding the rebound of Getzlaf’s shot from the slot.
“We’re still working towards the systems and getting the habits and stuff,” Josi said. “There’s definitely things that we can do better.”
Gibson’s best sequence of saves came right after Rakell’s goal. He made four stops in five seconds, denying Arvidsson twice and then two more quick saves on Nick Bonino from just outside the crease.
“Our goalie made some great saves at some key times,” Getzlaf said. “He’s a great goalie every night.”
The teams traded short-handed goals in the third period.
Grant scored on a breakaway at 8:03 of the third, slipping a backhand between Saros’ pads. Granlund answered at 15:25 for his eighth goal of the season.
Henrique’s power-play goal was Anaheim’s first in five games. Getzlaf has 50 points in 43 career games played against Nashville. Grant returned to the Anaheim lineup after missing 12 games with a sprained AC joint. The Predators are 3-13-4 when their opponent scores first this season.
Ducks: Visit Carolina Hurricanes on Friday.
Predators: Host Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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