The Nashville Predators fell to the Anaheim Ducks in a shootout on Saturday night by a 3-2 score. Nashville out-shot the Ducks by a 34-22 margin but were simply unable to get separation from one of the best teams in the Western Conference.
Both of Nashville’s goals were a direct result of shots from the point by defensemen. The first goal the Predators scored came just seconds after a power play opportunity had expired. Colin Wilson fed the puck to Jonathon Blum at the point to set up the play. Blum took the puck and fired a slap shot on net, and David Legwand was able to tap in the rebound.
“Our goal tonight was to try and keep it simple. Our power play hasn’t been clicking. We’re just trying to get shots. We had that 5-on-5 mentality where you want to just be greasy and get pucks to the net and have people there. Leggy was in a good spot and made a good play,” Blum said.
Blum had just enough time and space on the point to generate a slap shot on goal. Anaheim forward Ryan Getzlaf gave him just enough space to where he could fire the slap shot instead of having to fire a quick wrist shot. Defensemen have a very short amount of time to make a decision on the blueline, and Blum executed it to perfection.
“Understand how much time you have and I know Getzlaf is not the best shot blocker on their team so I knew I had a little extra time. If you go through him instead of around him, all of that stuff goes through your mind pretty quick, and you have to make a decision. Any time you get pucks to the net you’re going to get chances,” Blum said.
Nashville got another goal as a result of a shot from the point when Shea Weber scored his first goal of the season. Weber fired a quick wrist shot from the point that bounced off of an Anaheim defensemen in front and went into the net. The Predators were able to get traffic in front of the net, which aided those shots from the point.
Anaheim was able to hang around in the game despite being out-shot and outplayed for the majority of the game. The Ducks had opportunistic goals from Matt Beleskey and Patrick Maroon to get the game to overtime. After that, the Ducks were able to get the better of Pekka Rinne and the Predators in the shootout for the second time this season.
“We had a good first and we had a good start. We came out and probably got the most shots we’ve had in the first period. In the second period we weren’t as good on the walls and in the defensive zone, and the third period was pretty even and we got some chances in overtime. They’ve got a good lineup. They’ve got a good team. They’re one of the top teams in the west. When it goes to a shootout, anything can happen in the shootout,” Blum said.
The Predators will now travel to Colorado on Monday to take on the Avalanche in an early afternoon matchup. Nashville has been collecting points this season even when they’re not winning games. Nashville has only lost three games in regulation in their first 15 games.
“With the short schedule of 48 games, points are crucial,’ Blum said. ‘Obviously we want to get two at home, but any time you get one we’ll take it. You’ve just got to keep moving on to the next game in Colorado.”