By Anthony Giornalista
Stats Senior Writer
Nashville (35-30-5) at Anaheim (32-31-6), 10:00 p.m. EDT
ANAHEIM, California (AP) — A six-game stretch against
California teams may end up boosting the Nashville Predators’
playoff hopes. The Anaheim Ducks, meanwhile, are having problems
winning in their home state.
The Predators look to continue their success against Western
Conference clubs and extend the Ducks’ troubles at home in a
matchup of playoff contenders Wednesday night.
Nashville moved into seventh place in the West with a 4-3 win
over Los Angeles on Monday night in the first of six straight
games against California teams. The Predators, who improved to
14-4-1 against their conference since the All-Star break, are
five points ahead of 12th-place Anaheim.
“We want to win every night, but our mentality right now is try
and scrape points out of every game that we can and be as gritty
as we can be,” Nashville winger Steve Sullivan said. “We wanted
to propel ourselves back into the playoffs and make sure we
created some separation between us and them.”
The Predators are 2-0 on a four-game trip that will conclude
Thursday night against San Jose. They’ll then face the Ducks
again Tuesday night at home before hosting San Jose and Los
“We’ve got two games left on this road trip, and we’re trying to
set ourselves up so that it doesn’t come down to Game 82 and all
the pressure to try to get in with one game left,” Sullivan
Time is running out for Anaheim, which has gone 1-3-1 after
winning three of its previous four. The Ducks have lost five of
their last six home games, the most recent a 1-0 defeat to the
Sharks on Sunday night.
“We just have to stay confident,” Anaheim winger Teemu Selanne
said. “Wednesday is another chance. We just have to keep pushing
like this and we’re going to score a couple of goals.”
The Ducks have been held to two goals or fewer in four of their
last five games. They’ve been particularly bad on the power play
during that span, going 0-for-19.
Nashville is coming off a breakout offensive effort, scoring
more than two goals for only the second time in its last 18 road
games (7-10-1). The Predators totaled six goals in their
previous four contests overall.
Ryan Jones scored the go-ahead goal with 2:18 remaining,
Sullivan and Shea Weber added goals and Joel Ward had a goal and
an assist. Sullivan has eight goals and seven assists in his
last 13 contests.
Weber, a defenseman, has five goals and five assists in his last
12 games. He has a career-high 43 points (19 goals, 24 assists)
on the season.
Weber, though, has not scored in nine games versus the Ducks. He
had two assists for his first career points against Anaheim in
Nashville’s 4-3 overtime win November 14, which snapped a
six-game road losing streak to the Ducks.
The Predators won their only other meeting with Anaheim this
season 4-2 on February 5.