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Selanne scores twice to lead Anaheim Ducks past Nashville Predators 4-0

Selanne had two goals and an assist, Kunitz had a goal and three assists, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere recorded his 25th NHL shutout to help the Ducks beat the Kariya and the Nashville Predators 4-0 on Wednesday night in a matchup of the Pacific and Central division leaders.

Only three players on the Ducks' current roster were playing in Anaheim during the 2002-'03 season, Kariya's last with the Ducks - Giguere, McDonald and Rob Niedermayer.

Kariya left Anaheim as the team's leader in every major offensive category, including game-winning goals. Selanne, in his second tour with the Ducks, recently passed him as the franchise leader in that category. His first goal against Chris Mason was his third winner in a span of six games.

"I don't think he knows many faces here anymore," Selanne said. "We were good friends on the ice and off the ice, and we're going to stay lifetime friends.

"He's a great guy and I had a blast with him. It's too bad he's not here now, because it would be an even bigger bonus for us. But he's happy there, and that's how it goes."

Selanne is second behind Kariya on Anaheim's career list for goals, points and assists. Since leaving the Ducks, Kariya has only three points in seven games against his former team.

"I think he presses a little bit when he plays them because he started his career here and he wants to do well against them," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "I think everyone in the other room recognizes that Paul is a quality player and they try to shut him down.

"They've done a good job of doing that."

Kariya, who came in with the second-most shots on net among the Predators, never got one against Giguere in more than 22 minutes on the ice and was booed by the crowd of 15,362 whenever he touched the puck.

"I feel a little sorry for Paul that he has to take the booing, because he helped establish hockey in this area," Trotz said. "Paul was one of the guys that was a foundation for that hockey team, along with Selanne.

"They had some good chemistry together and sort of put hockey on the map in Anaheim."

Ryan Getzlaf also scored and McDonald had two assists for the Ducks, who have a league-leading 46 points. Giguere made 21 saves en route to his fourth shutout of the season.

The Predators lost their third straight game, matching their longest skid this season. They were 17-2-2 in between the losing streaks.

Nashville recorded only seven shots in the first despite four power plays, and fell behind on Selanne's goal just 57 seconds before intermission. Predators defenceman Shea Weber got a piece of McDonald's backhanded flip pass to Selanne with his left hand as the Ducks entered the zone, but Selanne got possession of the bouncing puck and swooped in alone on Mason before beating him high to the glove side.

Getzlaf made it 2-0 at 9:43 of the second. Chris Pronger, who leads NHL defencemen with 31 points, was deep in his own zone when he made a pass that found Kunitz all the way up at the Nashville blue-line. Getzlaf headed down the slot and got a cross-ice pass from Kunitz before faking Mason to his left and scoring his 13th goal.

"There's not many defencemen who can make passes like that," Giguere said. "I think I like that two-line pass - the fact that you can make those plays and can get the other team in trouble if they're sleeping a little bit.

"The league wanted to increase goal scoring, and that was one way to do it."

Selanne beat Mason with another backhander in front of the crease on a power play with 10:07 remaining. Kunitz dug the puck out of a crowd of players at the right boards and found Selanne all alone in the low slot for his 15th goal and 10th in nine games.

"He didn't holler for it, but he's usually in the right position all the time," Kunitz said. "If you get the puck to him, he's usually in a good spot to have a good chance to score."

Kunitz concluded the scoring with his 15th of the season during a goalmouth scramble with 4:56 to play. It was his second four-point game in the NHL.

Notes: Anaheim captain Scott Niedermayer, who played in his 1,000th NHL regular-season game Nov. 28, was presented with a Tiffany crystal, a custom-made portrait of himself and a Rolex watch by brother Rob, general manager Brian Burke and co-owner Susan Samueli in a pre-game ceremony. ... Predators C David Legwand missed his first game of the season because of a hand injury sustained in Monday's 3-2 loss at Phoenix.


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