ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Nashville Predators got a rare – and needed – win in Anaheim.
Dan Hamhuis scored at 2:17 of overtime and set up a power-play goal by Ryan Jones in Nashville’s 4-3 win over the Ducks on Friday night.
“This is a tough place to come into,” said Barry Trotz, the only coach the Predators have had. “It was a good battle and a good win for us. We’ll take it on the road. We had a lot of guys on different lines tonight, and I thought our compete level was really good.”
Joel Ward and J.P. Dumont also scored for the Predators, who beat the Ducks twice in Anaheim during the 2003-04 season.
Of their four wins in 19 visits to Anaheim, they’ve had to go to overtime in three of those victories. The only time Nashville won here in regulation was Jan. 31, 2001, when Mike Dunham made 26 saves in a 3-0 victory.
Dan Ellis, coming off a franchise-record 54-save performance in Nashville’s 4-3 overtime win at San Jose on Tuesday night, stopped 32 Anaheim shots.
“I think we’ve found out a lot about ourselves in the last few days,” Hamhuis said. “We squeaked one out against San Jose when we didn’t deserve to win, then we had a closed-door meeting yesterday because we were very disappointed in the way we’d been playing as a team. I think that really helped us. Tonight we played a much better team game.”
Brendan Morrison, Chris Kunitz and Ryan Getzlaf scored for the Ducks, who played their first game since Bob Murray took over as general manager for Brian Burke. Teemu Selanne had three assists in his 600th game with Anaheim.
Hamhuis, who ended a 24-game goal drought dating back to March 15 at Detroit, scored on a one-timer after defenceman Scott Niedermayer turned the puck over deep in his own zone and Jason Arnott set up Hamhuis from the left corner. The loss was the third straight for the Ducks, who had won eight of nine.
“We were on a change. I saw the puck dumped in the corner and I saw Arnott was probably going to get possession of it, so I kind of jumped down a bit and he made a fantastic pass into the slot,” Hamhuis said. “All of a sudden, it was right there and I just shot it.”
Ward, who missed the previous two games because of an upper body injury, scored a power-play goal on a one-timer from the top of the left circle with 15:25 left in regulation to put Nashville ahead 3-2.
Getzlaf tied it during a goalmouth scramble with 10:27 left while Radek Bonk was off for boarding.
Dumont gave Nashville a 2-1 lead at 11:26 of the first. Shea Weber took a shot that went wide of the net, but the puck caromed off the end boards and Dumont beat Kunitz to it before tucking his third goal of the season just inside the left post.
“We were a little bit loose in our zone again,” Morrison said. “We’re scoring enough goals right now, but I don’t think we’re being as assertive as we have to be in our own zone. We have to be sharper out there.”
Anaheim tied it at two at 15:05 of the period during a 5-on-3 advantage, after penalties against Jordin Tootoo for tripping and Greg Zanon for kneeing. Kunitz, who was fouled by both players during the same sequence, ended up scoring the equalizer with 31 seconds left on the power play after Selanne fanned on a shot from the left circle and the puck squirted into the low slot.
Jones also scored on a power play after drawing a penalty. Samuel Pahlsson was sent off for hooking the Predators’ forward, who converted a rebound at 5:54 of the opening period after Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped a sharp-angle shot by Hamhuis from the left circle. Giguere finished with 31 saves.
“We knew it was going to be a battle and we knew they’ve had a few days off, and they came prepared to play,” Arnott said. “After the San Jose game, I think everybody dug a little deeper. We wanted to perform a lot better than we did the last game. We played way better than we have in a long time.”
The Ducks opened the scoring at the 1:59 mark. Morrison got a pass from Selanne in the slot and was stopped by Ellis, but the puck fluttered in the air and Morrison batted the rebound over the goalie’s right shoulder.
“We didn’t create enough of the grind game early on, I thought,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “We didn’t sustain a lot of pressure in the offensive zone until halfway through the game. We lost a point in overtime, but we’re not going to get down.”
Notes: Selanne joined Steve Rucchin (616) and Paul Kariya (606) as the only players in franchise history to play in 600 regular-season games with Anaheim. All three of them served as team captain – Selanne in 1997-98 while Kariya was a contract holdout. … Selanne’s three assists increased his career total to 615, tying Hall of Famer Rod Gilbert for 68th place all-time. … Brad May returned to the Anaheim lineup after missing six games with a sprained right knee and got into a fight with Nick Tarnasky in the first period. … Nashville RW Martin Erat missed his third straight game because of an upper body injury.