Ducks defeat Predators, 3-2, with shootout
Tired legs, exhausting travel and swarming pressure against the goaltender didn’t get the best of the Ducks, who completed a 5-1 trip with their third shootout victory, 3-2 at Nashville on Saturday.
Corey Perry slid a backhanded goal past Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne to give the Ducks (11-2-1) a 2-1 shootout edge that goaltender Viktor Fasth preserved when Gabriel Bourque’s final chance flew wide of the net to Fasth’s right.
Fasth, a rookie, is now 8-0 as a starter.
“We didn’t have much in the tank, but when teams are used to winning, they will it — and we got great goaltending. He’s doing a lot of good things,” Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said of Fasth.
“They’re working hard, they believe in themselves. We played good teams on this trip too. I was worried about this trip. They came through with flying colors.”
After their best six-game trip in franchise history, the Ducks return to Honda Center on Monday against Columbus.
“It was a long trip, but the guys dug deep,” Perry said.
Nick Bonino also scored in the shootout, perfect in three opportunities now.
The pressure on Fasth before the shootout was intense, illustrated by the fact Nashville (7-3-5) forced him to make 24 saves with more than 15 minutes remaining in regulation.
Fasth stopped two point-blank shots early in the third, snapped the glove on his left hand after an impressive save with 4:02 remaining in the game and knocked down two more threats to send the game to overtime — boasting 32 saves.
The Ducks’ frustration peaked in the second period after wasting a two-man advantage that lasted 1:54 after delay-of-game penalties on Rinne and teammate Hal Gill.
Seconds after the two-man expired, Nashville captain Shea Weber struck a shot that appeared redirected off Ducks defender Luca Sbisa past Fasth for a 2-1 Predators lead.
For the second consecutive night, the Ducks answered the opponent’s first two goals as the team’s fourth-line member, Patrick Maroon, scored his first career goal with 4:52 remaining in the second period.
Kyle Palmieri and Francois Beauchemin assisted the goal, a needed contribution with fatigue setting in among the busier members of the first two lines.
The Ducks and Predators exchanged goals in the first period.
Nashville outshot the Ducks, 14-6, in the period, and David Legwand got one past Fasth 13:31 into the game.
That was answered less than four minutes later by Ducks first-line recent addition Matt Beleskey, who also scored in Friday’s 5-2 victory at Detroit.
The Ducks’ greatest accomplishment in the opening period was killing off three penalties, including two high-sticking calls on defenseman Sheldon Souray. They finished five for five in penalty-killing situations.
Pugmire reported from Los Angeles.
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