Reporting from Nashville
"It was wasted," Selanne said.
Mincing words was not in Selanne's repertoire Sunday. Choosing them with harshness was after the Nashville Predators' 4-3 victory at Bridgestone Arena that left the Ducks down, 2-1, in the Stanley Cup playoff series.
The abridged version: The Ducks stunk, and almost won. The Predators thoroughly dominated, and left wiping their brows.
In such a contradictory setting, Selanne's two goals were the centerpiece. They came in a 30-second span in the second period, tying the score, 2-2. Those became a footnote — Selanne's first multi-goal playoff game since 2002, when he was with the San Jose Sharks — and were the last thing he wanted to talk about.
"We had no business being in that … game," Selanne said. "No business. They won boards. They won the battles. We were lucky to be in the game. It's very disappointing."
The Predators found the Ducks more or less pylons to maneuver around — or run over — throughout the game.
David Legwand and Mike Fisher had tap-in goals at the far post in the third period. Both had time to pose for photos, if they so chose, which would have been a worthy keepsake to commemorate the Ducks' defensive effort.
Such things left the 40-year-old Selanne in a scolding mood.
"That's not how we should play," Selanne said. "That's embarrassing at this level. I hope everybody is going to be [ticked] off and … do something about this.
"Couple back-door plays in the third [period], empty nets. Boom, they scored. Unbelievable."
Put it to music and play it at the Grand Ole Opry. Selanne's rant had a country-western feel. Now they have two days to hum a different tune before Game 4.
"This playoffs are about heart," defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky said. "This is the time to show your character. Right now, guys need to be saying, 'I can.' "
On Sunday, the Ducks couldn't.
The Ducks were out hit and outshot (37-16). They were too often outsmarted and had a knack for generosity.
Ryan Getzlaf acted as if he owed Nashville's Jordin Tootoo a favor in the first period, slipping him the puck by the side of the Ducks' net for what became a highlights-at-11 goal.
"All four of their goals were tap-ins," Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle said. "We can't have people wide open like that."
All defensive lapses seemed forgivable after Selanne's second goal tied the score, 2-2.
The Predators regrouped. "We showed lot of character and patience," Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne said. The Ducks didn't.
The Ducks then committed the same sin with Fisher on the game-winner, leaving Selanne with only stat-padding for his efforts.
"I don't care about the goals," Selanne said. "This was bad."
His opinion was shared. Carlyle's quick assessment echoed Selanne's in substance, though not style.
"The first 30 minutes we stood around and really didn't get our feet moving," Carlyle said. "We committed some atrocious turnovers in the defensive zone. If we don't play better defensively than we played tonight, then I don't think we will give ourselves a chance."