Nashville Predators defeated the Anaheim Ducks 6-1 on the road at Bridgestone Arena. Although the score is slightly deceiving, the Predators scored timely goals on John Gibson’s worst game of the year so far.
Roman Josi, Colton Sissons, Rocco Grimaldi, Mattias Ekholm, Viktor Arvidsson (2)
Matt Duchene, Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi, Nick Bonino, Calle Jarnkrok, Kyle Turris
The Ducks were the better team this particular night. For the most part, they controlled the pace of the game and forced Pekka Rinne to make some spectacular saves. At even strength, Anaheim swarmed the net, blasting Rinne through the first two periods with eight high danger shots. However, at the end of the game, their 59.46 CF% and 52.94 HDCF% amounted to one goal off of a Dan Hamhuis turnover in the Predators’ defensive zone.
The Predators found offense from the backend, as Roman Josi led the way with two points with Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis grabbing one each. At even strength, the top four defensemen saw the most time on the ice but were outplayed for the majority of the game. At times, the defense was severely lacking but sometimes a good defense is the best offense. Whether or not these defensive miscues are sustainable will be determined later in the season.
Although the Predators were dominated, they took advantage of scoring chances and found a way to win against one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now. Winning in spite of flaws is what good teams do, but defensive blunders need to either be cleaned up or managed more properly.
Viktor Arvidsson, now tied for first on the team in goals, netted two against Anaheim. He, along with Dante Fabbro and Ryan Johansen, ended the game with a positive CF% and was rewarded for his efforts. Arvidsson’s offense seems hindered without Filip Forsberg on the same line, but he is finding ways to manufacture points. Clearly an annoyance to the Ducks, Arvidsson drew three penalties and almost drew a fourth after pointing to the scoreboard in the third period.
Without a doubt, the worst line on the ice was Nashville’s fourth line that featured Miikka Salomaki, Colton Sissons, and Austin Watson. For some reason, the Sissons line saw 10:07 at even strength and could not hold their own. They must’ve been extremely happy to get off the ice, as they concluded the game with a 21.43 CF%, 15.83 xGF%, 16.67 SCF%, and allowed one high danger chance. Although he netted a key goal in the first period, Colton Sissons had the roughest game of the trio.
Kyle Turris and Ryan Ellis each extended their points streak, as Ellis holds a five-game streak and Turris holds a four-game streak. Setting up Arvidsson’s second goal of the night, Turris found him transitioning through the neutral zone and was rewarded with the secondary assist. Overall, Ellis and Turris did not play phenomenal but they played well enough to win.
Overall, this game was lopsided in two ways: the entire offense and the actual scoring. The Ducks might’ve won this game had they stayed out of the box, but the Predators kept finding ways to put the puck in the back of the net.
Nashville concludes their three-game homestand against the Minnesota Wild before heading out to Tampa Bay for the weekend. Puck drop is at 7CST.