Desperate home-team with tons of talent. Back-up goaltender in net. Second game of a back-to-back. Country Music Night. I mean, come on, this was almost scripted.
The Anaheim Ducks were a desperate team going into tonight's matchup and they got the start they wanted. Going up 3-0 with some quick scores off of Nashville turnovers, the Ducks built an early lead and forced the Predators to swim upstream the rest of the game. Carter Hutton got the start and let in some typical Hutton-like goals. That is to say, goals that a Carter Hutton-caliber player really has no business stopping. You get what you pay for.
Still, the Predators hung in there and out-shot the Ducks 42-28. The Predators played their usual up-tempo, possession focused game that fueled a lot of chances, but it was the chances that the Ducks buried that mattered. It just was not the Predators' night. The Ducks were bound to break out of their horrible start to the season.
Apologies to the rest of the Western Conference. The Preds may have stirred the giant.
- Pretty much the worst start you could imagine. Rickard Rakell backhands a shot right by Carter Hutton less than 90 seconds into the game. Anaheim is as desperate as they are dangerous... hopefully we didn't just wake up a sleeping monster. (update: we did)
- New line of Ribeiro, Smith and Salomaki could be a good one. Salomaki and Smith get to swing away while Ribs dishes the puck. Some good chances early on.
- Why didn't Forsberg get a penalty shot here? If that isn't a penalty shot, I'm not sure what is.
- 2-0 Ducks. Here we go. Sami Vatanen with a blast that Hutton didn't even see until it was in the net.
- 3-0 Ducks. Here we go. Andrew Cogliano with a blast that Hutton didn't even see until it was in the net.
- The Predators aren't actually playing terrible and have had more than enough chances, they just can't bury any. Lots of sticks breaking, pucks bouncing just wide, and odd deflections that have led to unfortunate plays.
- Weber's slapper gets the Predators on the board. A beautiful sight. But my confidence in a come-back wanes with every shot that heads towards our net. It will take more than a few goals to get back into this one.
- Annnnnd on cue, the Ducks restore the 3 goal lead, with Chris Stewart tipping in a rebound. Very long time in the defensive zone for the Preds, and the Ducks make them pay. Probably the hardest fought of their 4 goals.
- Wow. Jarnkrok with a sick laser to make it 4-2. He definitely has a nice shot, just need to see him pull the trigger more. His confidence is building with every game it seems like. Maybe he gets a look on the 2nd line with some better talent around him?
- Forsberg continues to ramp up his physical game, even if he hasn't scored in a minute. He forces opponents to account for him in ways that no other player does. He really pulls together all the aspects of great forwards: physical presence, passing & vision, scoring ability, and stick skills that are a sight to behold.
- So many chances. The Ducks are just inviting the Preds to get back in this game, but Frederik Andersen isn't having any of it. Looking like it will be too little, too late.
- You can't be too upset by the style of play on the ice tonight by the Preds, just not the result we wanted. Tons of chances, great skill on display, nice chemistry on some new line combos... but the Ducks win it 4-2.
OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Shea Weber: the Captain did his part to get the Preds back in it with his goal. As lethal as ever.
- Calle Jarnkrok: an absolutely sick move in the slot to create space for his wrist-shot. Love seeing this kid develop.
- Mike Fisher: played his usual physical, lead-by-example kind of night. Made an incredible save on a 2-on-1 by the Ducks in the 3rd period that was simply a work of art.
Was the Smashville App Correct?
Nope. 1-11 now. Ugggh.
Tweets of the Game
Oh my God it's Country Western night what did I do to deserve this— Exit on Katella (@ExitonKatella) November 2, 2015
Ellis respectfully disagreeing, I assume pic.twitter.com/fJCa9uvGU5— Stephanie (@myregularface) November 2, 2015
Roll the video highlights...