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Predators aim for third straight road win

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

Angeles.

"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

said.

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.

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