Kyle Palmieri had the game of his young career on Wednesday night for the Anaheim Ducks against the Nashville Predators. The 22-year-old forward notched his first career NHL hat trick to lead the Ducks to a dominating 5-1 victory over the Predators. All three of Palmieri’s goals were assisted by Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.
Palmieri recorded the natural hat trick by the 1:07 mark of the second period to really put the Predators away very early in the game. Nashville found themselves down 4-0 after Palmieri’s third goal, and Anaheim was able to coast from there. Craig Smith scored the lone goal for the Predators in the second period on a beautiful one-time feed from Kevin Klein.
Pekka Rinne played the first two periods for the Predators and did not have his best game. His turnover behind the net led to the first goal of the game for Nick Bonino just 2:48 into the game. Nashville’s defense was not good around Rinne for the first and second period, and Chris Mason came in to take over the goaltending responsibilities in the third period.
Saku Koivu scored the fifth goal of the game for the Ducks to ice the game away for Anaheim. The Ducks have simply been on fire to start the season, improving to 14-3-1 with their win over the Predators. Nashville drops to 9-7-5 on the season and will take on the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.
Five things from Wednesday night’s game…
- Craig Smith scored his third goal in the last five games for the Predators. He seems to finally be heating up offensively, which is a good sign for the Nashville faithful.
- The Nashville defense has been uncharacteristically bad over the past few games. They’ve given up 13 goals in their last three games and have been giving up scoring chances that they normally don’t give up.
- Chris Mason came in the game in the third period and stopped all seven shots he faced. He looked pretty good for the time he was in net, which will be good for his confidence after the Colorado game.
- Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry were brilliant. They both looked like they were in a higher gear than the Nashville defense, and their hard work paid off on the score sheet.
- The Predators will have two full days without a game before they take on the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night. The nature of the loss to the Ducks could spark the Predators in a positive way.
Three stars of Wednesday night’s game…
1. Kyle Palmieri, ANA… Palmieri was brilliant for the Ducks, recording the natural hat trick and leading them to the victory.
2. Corey Perry, ANA… Perry picked up the primary assist on all three Palmieri goals and was all over the ice for the Ducks.
3. Ryan Getzlaf, ANA… Getzlaf picked up the secondary assist on all three Palmieri goals and played well for the Ducks all night long.