Ducks 4, Predators 0
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Teemu Selanne had two goals and an assist, Chris Kunitz added a goal and three assists and JS Giguere stopped 21 shots for his fourth shutout of the season as the Ducks defeated the Nashville Predators 4-0 on Wednesday at Honda Center.
The Ducks improved their league-best record to 21-3-6 with 48 standings points.
Giguere recorded his league leading 17th victory of the season and his shutout was the 25th of the netminder's career.
"It was great. We knew we had to come out stronger tonight for a few reasons, because we weren't happy with our effort against L.A," said Giguere. "This was our last home game before a long road trip, so it was important to get those two points. We leave feeling good about ourselves."
Despite allowing the Predators four power play opportunities in the first period, it was the Ducks who struck first in the waning seconds of the period.
"We didn't start the way we wanted to start," said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. "We had to kill some penalties, and I thought our penalty killers did a yeoman's job. We could have put ourselves in a big hole, but we found a way to get out of it. We got things rolling and were able to carry that workmanlike attitude the rest of the game."
Selanne, who had at least a point in five of his last six games, gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead at 19:03 of the first. Linemate Andy McDonald fed Selanne streaking behind the defense across the Nashville blueline and the veteran winger went top shelf for his 14th goal of the season.
With speed on display between the Preds and the Ducks, it was Anaheim who once again used quick feet and creative passing to earn a two goal advantage.
Ryan Getzlaf put the Ducks in front 2-0 at 9:43 of the second period. Defenseman Chris Pronger made a long pass from in front of his own net to Chris Kunitz. Getzlaf caught a pass from Kunitz speeding into the zone and got in alone on Nashville netminder Chris Mason, scoring his 13th goal of the season on the backhand.
Selanne gave Anaheim a 3-0 lead with the Ducks on the power play at 9:53 of the third period. He caught a pass standing alone in front of the Nashville net and deked to the backhand beating Mason for his second goal of the game.
The assist was Kunitz's third of the game, a new career high for the young winger.
Kunitz put the Ducks in front 4-0 on Anaheim's fourth power play of the third period. The Ducks' co-leading goal scorer picked up a loose puck at the side of the Nashville net and fired it home for his 15th goal of the year.
The Ducks now head to the road for five straight before returning to Honda Center to face the Calgary Flames on December 18.
"We knew that this home stretch we had so far was going to be very, very important," said Selanne. "Now it's time to be road warriors. But I think that's good for the team. I really believe it's going to help this team even more to spend more time together. Let's keep going."
20:00 - END OF GAME. SHOTS: ANA 11-32, 6-21
15:04 - ANAHEIM GOAL - POWER PLAY - CHRIS KUNITZ (15). Kunitz picks up a loose puck and fires it home for his 15th goal of the season. Assists go to Teemu Selanne and Andy McDonald on the power play.
14:29 - NSH PEN - Paul Kariya gets the gate for holding giving Anaheim their fifth power play. The Ducks are 1-for-4 with the man advantage.
9:53 - ANAHEIM GOAL - POWER PLAY - TEEMU SELANNE (15). Selanne gets a pass standing alone in front of the Nashville net. He dekes and beats Mason on the backhand. Assists go to Chris Kunitz and Scott Niedermayer. The assist for Kunitz gives him three on the game - a career high.
8:38 - NSH PEN - Greg Zanon goes off for tripping to give the Ducks their fourth power play.
5:05 - NSH PEN - Vernon Fiddler gets the gate for hooking. Anaheim goes on their third power play - they are 0-for-2 in the game.
2:28 - ANA PEN - Chris Kunitz goes off for tripping. After 1:03 of 4-on-4, Nashville will get their sixth power play.
1:31 - NSH PEN - Dan Hamhuis gets the gate for hooking. Anaheim goes on their second power play - they are 0-for-1 in the game.
0:00 - The third period is under way at Honda Center.
20:00 - END OF 2ND PERIOD. SHOTS: ANA 12-21, NSH 8-15
9:43 - ANAHEIM GOAL - RYAN GETZLAF (13). Chris Pronger makes a pass from in front of his own net to Chris Kunitz standing on the Nashville blue line. Kunitz dishes to Getzlaf streaking into the Preds' zone. Getzlaf gets in alone and beats Mason on the backhand to give the Ducks a 2-0 second period lead.
5:57 - ANA PEN - Rob Niedermayer goes off for tripping. Nashville goes on their fifth power play.
3:12 - George Parros and Darcy Hordichuk drop the gloves in the first fight of the contest. Both players receive fighting majors. Hordichuk loses his jersey in the bout.
0:00 - The second period has begun between the Ducks and Preds at Honda Center.
20:00 - END OF 1ST PERIOD - SHOTS: ANA 9, NSH 7
19:03 - ANAHEIM GOAL - TEEMU SELANNE (14). Selanne gets a pass from linemate Andy McDonald over the Nashville blueline and gets behind the defense. He goes top shelf and beats Preds netminder Chris Mason. Assists go to McDonald and Chris Kunitz.
13:43 - ANA PEN - Scott Niedermayer goes off for hooking. After 18 seconds of 4-on-4 hockey Nashville will go on their fourth power play of the first period.
12:01 - NSH PEN - Alexander Radulov goes off for goaltender interference. Anaheim goes on their first power play. The Ducks are operating at 22.2% (2nd NHL) with the man advantage and the Preds are killing at 84.9% (12th NHL).
10:01 - ANA PEN - Ryan Getzlaf is called for hooking. Nashville will go on their third power play of the period.
4:41 - ANA PEN - Travis Moen gets the gate for hooking while trying to prevent Josef Vasicek from getting a shot off in front of an open Anaheim net. Nashville goes on their second power play.
0:18 - ANA PEN - Francois Beauchemin goes off for interference. Nashville goes on their first power play. The Preds are operating at 18% on the season (T-11th NHL) and the Ducks are killing at 85.4% (T-10th NHL).
0:00 - The first period is under way at Honda Center.
The Ducks honored captain Scott Niedermayer who played in his 1000th NHL game last week in Edmonton. The ceremony included a video tribute as well as the presentation of a Tiffany Crystal from General Manager Brian Burke, a Rolex watch from owners Susan and Henry Samueli and a portrait from the Anaheim players represented by his brother Rob. Niedermayer will start the contest on defense with regular partner Francois Beauchemin.
Starting Goaltenders: ANA 35 JS Giguere, NSH 30 Chris Mason
Scratches: ANA 30 G Ilya Bryzgalov, 39 C Travis Green; NSH 11 C David Legwand, 42 D Mikko Lehtonen
DOWNLOAD TONIGHT'S GAME NOTES
The Ducks host Paul Kariya and the Nashville Predators tonight at 7:05 p.m. at Honda Center.
Anaheim is coming off a 3-2 defeat to the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, just the club's third regulation loss this season. Before Sunday, the Ducks had won five-in-a-row dating back to Nov. 24.
At 20-3-6 and 46 points, Anaheim remains the top team in all of the National Hockey League.
Leading the way offensively for the Ducks are Teemu Selanne (13-21=34), Chris Pronger (4-26=30) and Scott Niedermayer (5-20=25). Chris Kunitz leads the club with 14 goals. Goaltender JS Giguere has carried the load this season in goal for Anaheim at 16-2-5 with a 2.21 goals against average and .922 save percentage.
The Predators skate into Honda Center after dropping a 3-2 decision to the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday night in Glendale, Ariz. Nashville is 17-6-3 with 37 points and sits atop the Western Conference's Central Division.
The Preds are led offensively by Steve Sullivan (8-19=27), Kariya (6-19=25) and Martin Erat (6-16=22). Scott Hartnell leads the Preds with 10 goals. Nashville's netminder is Chris Mason (6-2-2, 2.77 GAA, .920 SV%).
After tonight's game, the Ducks hit road for five-straight against Washington (Friday), Tampa (Saturday), Florida (Tuesday), Atlanta (Dec. 13) and San Jose (Dec. 16). Anaheim plays 10 of the next 12 away from Honda Center.