NASHVILLE – Jason Arnott and Shea Weber broke long goal droughts – and finished off the Anaheim Ducks, too.
Arnott broke a tie with his first goal in 10 games to help the Nashville Predators beat Anaheim 3-1 on Saturday night.
Midway through the third period, Weber carried the puck into the Anaheim zone and found Arnott on the left side. From just above the left faceoff dot, Arnott beat Jonas Hiller high to the stick side with a slap shot.
“It’s been crazy the last week or so with chances, posts, and things like that, but the other guys have been picking it up in that regard and winning games offensively,” Arnott said. “It gets a little bit of the pressure off of you a little, but you always want to go out and score goals to help the team win.”
His coach was happy to see the captain find the back of the net again.
“The last couple of nights, he’s had some glorious chances, but the pucks been jumping, hitting him in the skates, getting into the Bermuda Triangle as a player would call it, and really locking him up,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “Sometimes you can get a bit frustrated.”
The Predators have won three straight, while the Ducks have lost three in row on the road.
“We gave ourselves a chance,” Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. “We missed an assignment on neutral ice, and Arnott made a big time shot.”
Anaheim’s Mike Brown opened the scoring at 7:45 of the opening period.
Evgeny Artyukhin sent the puck toward the Nashville net, but Pekka Rinne was unable to cover with his glove, and a sliding Brown was able to get his stick on it and put it by the Finnish goalie for his fifth goal of the season. Brown has scored in consecutive games for the first time in his 108-game NHL career.
Weber tied it at 1-1 with 4:33 left in the second period.
The goal came on a succession of slap shots from Weber. Hiller denied the Canadian Olympian on his first two attempts, but the third shot in an 11-second span sailed by the goalie’s glove.
“Guys made some great plays getting me the puck, and I just tried to get shots through,” Weber said. “Hiller played great in the first and did a great job for them. We could have been up a couple of goals coming out of the first.”
Weber’s goal was his first since Nov. 25, a span of 18 games. He tied a career high with 10 shots on goal in the game.
“We didn’t play our best the first two periods,” Hiller said. “We gave up a lot of scoring chances.”
Rinne preserved the win with a glove save on James Wisniewski with eight seconds remaining in the third. Rinne finished with 25 saves.
David Legwand’s empty-net goal at the buzzer accounted for the final scoring.
NOTES: The Ducks have scored just one power-play goal in their last six games. … Nashville D Kevin Klein returned to the lineup after missing a game because of an upper-body injury. … Arnott’s goal was his 100th for Nashville.