The Nashville Predators continued their rejuvenated play with a 4-2 victory of the Anaheim Ducks Thursday night at the Sommet Center. The Predators clearly out skated the tougher, more talented Anaheim squad at both ends of the ice, frustrating the Ducks especially in the third Period.
The Predators scored first on a goal by Ryan Jones and never trailed. The Preds other goals were added by Jason Arnott and Marty Erat, and completed with an empty netter by Vern Fiddler near the end of the contest.
Both of Anaheim's goals were provided by winger Corey Perry.
Rookie Ryan Jones had his best game since his recall from Milwaukee, scoring a goal, firing three shots and playing a complete game with a lot of hustle. After the game Jones said, “when I got the recall I told myself that I would do anything and everything to stay here.” He also indicated that he was less focused on “not making mistakes” than he was earlier in the season.
After his “unofficial” promotion to the number one goalie slot, Pekka Rinne continued his stellar play in net stopping 28 of 30 Anaheim shots.
Both teams came into the game having won three of four since the all-star break. The win gave the Preds 51 points bringing them within 3 points of the final playoff position.
The Predators left immediately after Thursday’s game and headed to Minnesota where they play the Wild Friday night at 7:00 PM. Dan Ellis is expected to start in goal against the Wild. The Preds will continue to be without Tootoo and Belak against a team that has roughed up the Preds in the past.
The weekend trip is a special one for Predator players as this is the annual "Father's Weekend" trip where the Players fathers travel with the team and get to experience life on the road with their sons.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass and the Columbia Daily Herald