Ducks’ road skid continues with 4-1 loss to Predators
Matt Duchene had two goals and an assist, Juuse Saros made 27 saves and the Nashville Predators beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 Thursday night.
Filip Forsberg had a goal and two assists and Colton Sissons also scored for the Predators, winners of three consecutive games. Nashville entered Thursday in the top wild-card spot in the tight Western Conference race to the postseason.
“I liked our focus level,” Predators coach John Hynes said. “That’s the most important thing. Don’t necessarily think it was our best game, but I think good teams find ways to win.”
Adam Henrique scored and John Gibson made 26 saves for the Ducks, who have lost three of four.
“We never want to accept losing and this is about winning each and every day, but I thought our guys battled hard,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “I thought they gave us about everything that they could.”
The Ducks allowed the Blackhawks to score five goals in the first period in the 8-3 loss on Tuesday in Chicago.
Duchene scored the game’s first goal at 10:53 of the opening period. With the Predators on a power play, Duchene finished off a slick tic-tac-toe passing sequence that originated with Mikael Granlund’s pass from the right side to Forsberg in the left circle, who immediately found Duchene on the right side for his 28th goal of the season.
“We were pretty average tonight, but found a way to get it done,” Duchene said. “Got some big saves, special teams were big. You’re not going to be at you’re best every night, but still found a way.”
Duchene returned Forsberg’s earlier favor and set him up at 11:41 of the second for his 28th goal of the season.
“Yeah, obviously a full year up to this point playing together and playing sporadically together before that, too,” Forsberg said. “That definitely helps and it builds chemistry in practice.“
Saros’ best saves came late in the second. Following a Nashville turnover, Cam Fowler skated into the slot unchecked, but Saros was able to glove his wrist shot from in close. Less than a minute later, Saros stopped Sam Steel’s point-blank backhand with an outstretched left pad.
Henrique spoiled Saros’ shutout bid with 5:48 to go in the third when he tipped Josh Mahura’s shot through Saros and just over the goal line.
Sissons sealed it with 2:30 remaining with a slap shot from the top of the right circle that beat Gibson high to the far side. Duchene added an empty-net goal with just over a minute remaining.
The Ducks played without captain Ryan Getzlaf and right wing Jakob Silfverberg, who were put on injured reserve. Rookie Trevor Zegras was scratched because of an upper-body injury.
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