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Anaheim Ducks vs. Nashville Predators

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 1:49 AM

Associated Press

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Anaheim Ducks vs. Nashville Predators
Anaheim Ducks vs. Nashville Predators
Mighty Ducks-Predators Preview

GAME: Anaheim Mighty Ducks (1-0-0) at Nashville Predators (1-0-0).

TIME: Saturday, 8 p.m. EDT.

If the first game is any sign, the city of Nashville feels a sense of belonging in the NHL with a star like Paul Kariya playing for the Predators.

He now tries to lead them to a win Saturday against his first club, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

Kariya was the first-ever pick of the Mighty Ducks and fourth overall in 1993. He instantly became the face of the franchise in a 10-year tenure with the team, recording two 100-point seasons and helping the Ducks reach the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals.

After an injury-plagued stint with the Colorado Avalanche before the lockout, Kariya again became a free agent and chose the Predators, who never had such a high-profile player pick their team in their six-year history, over more than a dozen other teams.

"I think all the rules changes really benefit this club. It's a team based on speed and work ethic and the goaltending. I think the rules changes that come into play are only going to benefit Nashville," said Kariya, who signed a two-year, $9 million contract in August. "And that's one of the reasons why I chose here."

Kariya was given a rousing welcome Wednesday in Music City, where the Predators opened their season with a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. He was cheered every time he touched the puck and delighted fans with the game-tying goal early in the third period. Scott Hartnell netted the game-winning goal with 4:13 to play.

The Mighty Ducks made some aggressive free agent moves of their own in the offseason, and they paid immediate dividends in Wednesday's 5-2 win at Chicago.

Rob Niedermayer, the prized defensemen among all free agents, scored a power-play goal as did Teemu Selanne, who is back with the team for a second time.

"Getting the first goal was a relief," Selanne said. "The first win was more important."

Anaheim's special teams were excellent, getting two power-play goals and two short-handed tallies. Joffrey Lupul scored one while killing off a penalty and added another at even strength.

"I don't think I saw two seconds on penalty killing last year," Lupul said. "Now (coach) Randy (Carlyle) is giving me a great opportunity to kill penalties and work on the power play. It's something I've got to run with."

STANDINGS (through Oct. 6): Mighty Ducks - 2 points, 1st place (tied), Pacific Division. Predators - 2 points, 2nd place, 2 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Mighty Ducks - Lupul, 2 goals; Andy McDonald, 2 assists; Lupul and McDonald, 2 points; Todd Fedoruk, 7 PIM. Predators - Kariya, Hartnell and Scott Walker, 1 goal; Five players with 1 assist; Eight players with 1 point; Ryan Suter, 4 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 6): Mighty Ducks - Power play: 22.2 percent (2 for 9), 7th in NHL. Penalty killing: 88.9 percent (8 for 9), 12th. Predators - Power play: 0.0 percent (0 for 3), 22nd (tied). Penalty killing: 100 percent (6 for 6), 1st (Tied).

GOALTENDERS: Mighty Ducks - Jean-Sebastien Giguere (1-0-0, 0 SO, 3.00 GAA); Ilya Bryzgalov (no record). Predators - Tomas Vokoun (1-0-0, 0, 2.00); Chris Mason (no record).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Predators 3-1-0.

LAST MEETING: March 23, 2004; Mighty Ducks 4-1. At Nashville, Sandis Ozolinsh snapped a 1-1 tie with a power-play goal in the second period, and Vaclav Prospal added a goal and an assist to help Anaheim avoid a season series sweep.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mighty Ducks - 1-0-0 on the road; Predators - 1-0-0 at home.

Associated Press
2005-2006 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 24 '06 NSH 3 at ANA 6
Jan 01 '06 ANA 4 at NSH 2
Nov 01 '05 NSH 1 at ANA 4
Oct 08 '05 ANA 2 at NSH 3 - SO is the official Web site of the Anaheim Ducks. Anaheim Ducks and are trademarks of Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.