Nashville Predators 2, Anaheim Ducks 5: Bad bounces negate strong effort against league's best team

Mike Strasinger-USA TODAY Sports

The Predators were on the wrong end of puck luck tonight, and it ends in a frustrating loss.

The Anaheim Ducks had been struggling recently. Well, as much as a league-leading team can. They've been losing at home where they were once invincible, and the goals haven't been coming as easy as they were. So in the last game before a long Olympic break, the Nashville Predators needed to gather momentum against them and make their difficult road to the playoffs that much easier when they come back.

That's not what happened. Despite the fact that the Predators were outplaying the Ducks for the first half of the game, Nashville spotted Anaheim two goals that went in off Preds defenders. Even though they were able to make up for those mistakes, it was too much when the Ducks' offense really kicked in, and the Predators go into the Olympic break still out of the playoff picture by four points.

Random Observations

  • Bridgestone Arena was roaring tonight. At least at first. It makes sense when you consider how fast and exciting the game was and the fact the Predators are (for the moment) back in the playoff hunt. People at the game, was the atmosphere more electric tonight or during the comeback against the Kings or last Red Wings game?
  • I don't know what it is about the Ducks that make Preds defenders want to attack their own net. Roman Josi and Victor Bartley joined that club on the first two Anaheim goals. Maybe stop doing that?
  • Pretty spectacular patience showed by David Legwand on Mike Fisher's power play goal to start the 3rd period. Props to Fish on the finish as well, as it was just a heck of a shot.
  • Unfortunately, Preds like to let their teams answer after just a couple of minutes. Sure enough, just shy of four minutes later a seeing-eye puck made its way through a maze of bodies and into the net behind Carter Hutton.
  • But for the most part Hutton played a good game. Though there were a few times where he was jumpy, a little out of position, and seemed to be fighting the puck a little bit.
Games like this are always tough to swallow, especially since the Predators were the better team for most of the game. Teams on the top of the standings always get the breaks, and it was just a couple of bad bounces tonight that swung the game in favor of the Ducks.
Now, we'll have to get our hockey fix through the early morning Olympic games until the end of this month. With a win over the Coyotes, the Dallas Stars knock them out and take over the last Wild Card spot. The Preds play them twice after the break. It's a tough road ahead, and the odds are stacked against Nashville, but it will certainly be furious finish when the NHL comes back.

Boxscore - Game Summary - Event Summary - Fancy Stats

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