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Nashville Predators 2, Anaheim Ducks 3: Forsberg’s Late Effort Not Enough, Preds Suffer Embarrassing Loss

The Nashville Predators began the final California road trip of the regular season in Anaheim, playing the Ducks in a late-night tilt just after the switch back to Daylight Savings Time. For those who’d stay awake, a real disappointment was in store.

Filip Forsberg rejoined the team after missing Saturday due to a presumed body injury, but Viktor Arvidsson took a spin on the second line, leaving Wayne Simmonds to play across from Forsberg on Ryan Johansen’s other wing.

Sadly, the new-look Predators fell behind just three and a half minutes in, as Johansen wasn’t able to get back in time to cover for a Ryan Ellis pinch, and the 33-year-old Ryan Getzlaf got behind everyone and sent the puck directly past a surprised-looking Pekka Rinne. Just a couple of minutes after that, the Predators were put on the power play when—for a change—their opponent took an undisciplined stick penalty.

The Preds were unable to capitalize on the power play, and moments after that Jakub Silfverberg put the Ducks up 2-0. The Predators didn’t have much of a response, though Rinne was able to make a nice save after another defensive breakdown that almost allowed Max Jones to put the home team up by three.

With a little over four minutes left in the period, the Predators and Ducks got involved in a scuffle, but no penalties were assessed. Shortly after, Kyle Turris’s rough season continued as he was called for interference and the Predators had to go on the penalty kill. They were able to do so successfully, and came back into the offensive zone with one of their better chances of the period a little after the kill was completed, but went into the first intermission still trailing 0-2.

Not too far into the second, Colton Sissons got the puck, made a pass, and drew a hooking penalty. The Ducks lost Hampus Lindholm to the penalty box, but the Predators were once again unable to make them pay. Halfway through the second Forsberg missed an empty net, which felt like an excellent summary of the night.

Max Jones drew a penalty shot as Nick Bonino tried to defend a breakaway, but he lost the puck and Rinne was able to make the save, giving the Preds a chance to stay in the game. The Preds, unfortunately, declined the chance, and shortly after Daniel Sprong scored to put the Ducks up 3-0. I’m not really sure what Matt Irwin was doing on the play.

The Predators were unable to start digging out of the hole before intermission, but at least they didn’t get down any deeper.

The third period started off well for the Ducks, again, as they got some offensive zone time and Pekka Rinne had to make some more saves. However, after that the Predators found their offensive zone and had just started to get established when Adam Henrique was called for boarding Calle Järnkrok and they went back on the power play.

Again, they had no success, and a few minutes after that P.K. Subban and Troy Terry were called for coincidental minors—holding and embellishment—an interesting call when Terry dragged Subban off his feet. The teams returned to full strength with no goals, though the Predators did have some looks, and almost right after that Subban was sent back to the box after a heated exchange with Max Jones. Fortunately for the Preds, Jones was also called, and the referee didn’t take exception to Subban’s displeasure with the penalty. The second 4v4 was also scoreless.

With a little over seven minutes left in the game, Jaycob Megna put the Predators back on the power play, and then Josh Manson cleared the puck over the glass to give the Preds a 5v3, and Peter Laviolette opted to pull Rinne to give the Preds a three-skater advantage. Forsberg scored to get the Preds on the board, then scored again on the second half of the power play—with Rinne still out and a two-skater advantage—to bring the game to within one.

Play resumed 5v5, with one goalie in each net, for a bit before Rinne left again for the extra attacker—just 6v5 this time, and alas it wasn’t enough. Forsberg’s late goals were enough to salvage some egos but not the two points, which was unsurprising given the first, oh, 54-odd minutes of the game.

Random Observations:

  • Not sure how I feel about first-line winger 2019 Wayne Simmonds, but we’ll see how this goes.
  • Oh. That’s how.
  • Stoppage of play for vanished puck, always fun. Puck re-appearing in the middle of the ice, weird but still fun.
  • Ten pushups for Bobby.
  • The Ducks don’t look like a lottery team, which doesn’t say great things about the Preds either.
  • That bulletpoint went in before they went up 2-0 but that just emphasizes my point.
  • Oh hey, Rinne made a save, that’s nice.
  • Oh hey, a scuffle.
  • And a scoring chance! That’s new and exciting.
  • Ten pushups for Bobby.
  • Lot of Ducks fans not bothering to show up to watch their team embarrass the Predators. It’s only 8:10 in California, folks.
  • Somehow we’re now getting crowd noise on the mic feeds.
  • Matt Irwin is not covering himself with glory tonight.
  • It’s almost like players weighing all of a hundred and mumble pounds sopping wet getting boarded is the kind of thing that Cody McLeod is supposed to be preventing by being played in tonight’s game…
  • Oh right, he got effectively benched because the Preds need to score and he can’t help them do that.
  • Anyway, ten pushups for Bobby.
  • Is that Yannick Weber out there in the 4v4?!
  • shutout shutout shutout
  • shut out
  • …thank you again, Filip Forsberg
  • I’m really into this aggressive goalie pull + competent extra-skater play. The competent extra-skater play is the key.
  • Hampus Lindholm just mugged Arvidsson. If the Preds hadn’t scored on their last two power plays he might even have gotten called for it.
  • Josi and Subban trading off goalie duties in the empty net
  • Can Ellis stop blocking shots with his head, please?/

OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game:

  1. Filip Forsberg: Too little, too late, but he gave the Preds some life and the fans some hope.
  2. Mikael Granlund: Two assists and looked pretty good on a pretty lackluster night.
  3. Still awake? Didn’t break your TV in disgust? You are the final super duper star of the game.

Tweets of the Night:

Talking Points