NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A fortunate broken stick was just what the Anaheim Ducks needed to extend their winning streak
Brandon Bochenski and Corey Perry scored goals and the Stanley Cup champions stretched their winning streak to a season-high five games with a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night. The Ducks, 7-0-1 in their last eight games, won the season series with the Predators 3-1.
Bochenski gave Anaheim a 1-0 lead at 15:12 of the first period when he deflected Mathieu Schneider’s slap shot from the blue-line through the legs of goalie Chris Mason. Schneider had a clear shot at the net, as Predators penalty-killer Jerred Smithson had broken his stick on the play.
“It kind of turned into a 5-on-3 for us,” Bochenski said. “Schneider made a great shot, and I was able to tip it on through.”
“That’s the nature of the composite sticks,” Mason said. “If you are trying to block a slap shot, and it hits your stick, there’s not much else you can do.”
Ryan Getzlaf earned two assists, stretching his point streak to 12 games. He is five games shy of Teemu Selanne’s franchise record.
Perry extended the Ducks’ advantage to two goals at 7:26 of the third period.
With a pass from centre ice, Getzlaf sent Perry in on a partial breakaway. Perry faked to his backhand and slid the puck by Mason low to the glove side.
Getzlaf and Perry were both picked in the 2003 draft, held in Nashville.
“That was a great pass by Getz,” Perry said. “We knew that the next goal was going to be huge, and it was.”
“They are good in every area,” Mason said of the Ducks. “They are big, they are fast, all of their defencemen are great skaters. That’s how they won the Stanley Cup.”
Jason Arnott’s power-play goal at 15:24 of the third cut the Predators’ deficit to 2-1. J.P. Dumont, at the right of the Anaheim net, sent a pass to Arnott at the left faceoff dot. Arnott one-timed the puck, beating goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere on the short side.
“I thought we played well tonight, and it showed in the shot total and the chance total,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “It just ended up being a one-goal loss.”
Giguere finished with 33 saves.
“Giggy gave us a chance to win,” Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. “He made some key stops at some key times.”
“Obviously, this wasn’t our best game, but at the end of the day all that matters is the two points,” Giguere said. “I saw the puck pretty well.”
Notes: Anaheim D Chris Pronger left the game in the first period with a bruised left knee after blocking a shot from Nashville D Shea Weber and didn’t return. His is day-to-day. … Dumont extended his career-high point streak to 10 games, tying Steve Sullivan for the Nashville franchise record. Dumont has seven goals and eight assists during that span. … Perry leads Anaheim with 25 goals.