Preview #15: Injuries plague Predators as Nashville visits Anaheim
Nashville Predators 7-5-2
Anaheim Ducks 5-6-3
Pekka Rinne will likely be back in net for Nashville when the Predators take on the Anaheim Ducks Wednesday night at Honda Center in the second game of back-to-back contests in Southern California.
Tuesday night in Los Angeles, the Predators lost a game in regulation for the first time since a 3-1 loss to San Jose at Bridgestone Arena on October 25th. The Kings were in the midst of a five game losing skid that was halted with the win. Los Angeles went into the third period with a 4-2 lead over Nashville. When entering the final frame of a game with a lead, the Kings had 61-0-3 record in their last 64 outings heading into Tuesday night’s contest. The Predators were unable to capitalize on a King’s squad that had played 24 hours earlier in San Jose and Anders Lindback recorded his first loss of the season.
With just 1:21 left in the game, Patric Hornqvist brought the Predators within one goal of tying the game with the extra attacker on the ice and the net empty. It was the sixth consecutive game that Hornqvist scored a goal.
Wednesday night will be the Predators second meeting against the Ducks in less than two weeks. On October 29th, the Predators hosted their first game against the Ducks since eliminating Anaheim from the playoffs in 6 games in last year’s Western Conference quarter finals. While Ducks Captain Ryan Getzlaf said that the team wasn’t concerned with playing their old playoff nemesis, Hart Trophy winner Corey Perry commented that some players in the dressing room had a long memory.
If the chippy play on the ice was a good indicator, reality was closer to Perry’s version of the facts than those presented by Getzlaf. With 42 minutes in penalties handed out, as well as a scuffle after what seemed like every whistle, the Ducks and Predators have no love lost for one another and Wednesday night’s game at the Honda Center will prove to be yet another epic battle between the two clubs.
On Tuesday night, the Predators started the game without Kevin Klein on defense as well as Nick Spaling and Sergei Kostitsyn at the position of forward. Not even five minutes into the period, the Predators then lost Nashville’s points leader when David Legwand took a hit in open ice by Los Angeles’ Dustin Brown. The team said Legwand had an upper body injury.
Anaheim is without Jason Blake and George Parros. Blake is out for a couple more months after having surgery on his left wrist. Parros is expected to miss a month of play after having laser eye surgery to fix a torn retina.
After Wednesday night’s game, the Predators will finally return to Music City after their five-game CMA road trip. Nashville next plays Saturday night when Montreal is in town for a special 6 pm CT time start. The early time slot is to accommodate CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada who will be in Nashville to broadcast the game. Saturday’s game is also the Predators 1000th regular season contest. Incidentally, it also marks the 1000th game coached by Barry Trotz. This is one game you do not want to miss.
Photo credit: Getty Images
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