The Ducks fell to the Nashville Predators tonight at the Honda Center, 4-1. A contested goal by Predator right winger Jerred Smithson in the first five minutes of the game gave them the momentum and a stellar performance by Predator netminder, Pekka Rinne kept them in front of the Ducks.
The first goal managed to slip under Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller at 5:10 in the first period. Smithson fired the puck at Hiller, who covered the puck. Intially ruled as no-goal, after a review by the referees, it was determined that the puck did cross the line, and a point was awarded to the Predators.
Another Nashville goal in the second period by Patric Hornqvist at 3:56 further dampened the spirit of the Ducks. It wasn't until the first and only Ducks goal just past the middle of the third stanza that the Ducks started showing signs of life. A pass from Dan Sexton to Saku Koivu in the slot finds the back of the net to put the Ducks on the scoreboard at 11:46.
A desperate Ducks coach Randy Carlyle pulled Hiller from the net in the last two minutes of the game, but the Ducks couldnt capitalize with the extra player. Nashville found the back of the empty net twice more before the buzzer could put the Ducks out of their misery.
Rinne had 40 saves to keep Nashville ahead of the struggling Ducks. Jonas Hiller saved 20 of the 22 shots Nashville took.
The Ducks next face Columbus at the Honda Center on Friday. Hopefully they come back with more energy to take down the Blue Jackets.
Let's go Ducks!