Nashville Predators vs Anaheim Ducks Preview: High-Flying Fowl

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

The Nashville Predators got their critical 5-game home stand off to a solid start with a win over San Jose Tuesday night, but can they pass an even bigger test tonight against the Anaheim Ducks, against whom Nashville went 0-1-2 last season?

The Stats

Anaheim Ducks Nashville Predators
Record 32-8-5 1st 19-19-6 21st
GF/Game 3.31 3rd 2.39 24th
GA/Game 2.42 8th 2.89 19th
5-on-5 Close SF/60 31.5 7th 29.7 14th
5-on-5 Close SA/60 27.3 7th 27.4 8th
Fenwick Close 51.20 13th 49.80 15th
5-on-5 Close Save % .929 9th .908 27th
5-on-4 GF/60 5.5 21st 6.7 9th
# of PP's/Gm 3.29 16th 3.07 27th
4-on-5 GA/60 7.3 25th 6.6 18th
# of PK's/Gm 3.18 11th 3.14 10th

Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks are flying along at the top of the Pacific Division this season, as head coach Bruce Boudreau has the team complementing the talents of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry much like he had the Washington Capitals led by Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom a few years ago. Coming into tonight's game, Anaheim has won 14 of their last 15 games, making them the NHL's hottest team.

Of course, any time Anaheim comes to town you have to focus on Teemu Selanne, not only one of the game's all-time great scorers but also one of its most universally-loved players. At long last it appears the Flying Finn is breaking down, as his scoring totals have dropped to mediocre levels beginning last season. In 35 games, Selanne has just four goals and nine assists.


Teemu Selanne

#8 / Right Wing / Anaheim Ducks

6-0

209

Jul 03, 1970

Nashville Predators

With 8 out of a possible 12 points earned over the last six games, the Preds are keeping those flickering playoff hopes alive, but just barely. Despite some assurances that this team is playing as well as it has in 10 years, what they haven't shown yet is the ability to maintain positive momentum. With two 5-game losing streaks so far to along with a 4-gamer, their best winning streak this season is just 3.

Now's as good a time as ever to turn that trend around.

With Mike Fisher's scoring streak having come to a close, the focus shifts to Craig Smith as the reigning "hot hand" in the Preds lineup, with six goals and three assists in his last 10 games. He's come a long way from last season's disappointing performance and may have penciled himself in as a regular Top Six winger here for the next few years.


Craig Smith

#15 / Right Wing / Nashville Predators

6-1

202

Sep 05, 1989



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG
SOG PCT
2013 - Craig Smith 41 12 13 25 +1 12 4 0 2 108 11.1

Can the Predators keep racking up points in the standings against Anaheim tonight? If you're not at Bridgestone Arena this evening, tune into FS-TN at 7:00 p.m. to find out...

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