Clarksville, TN – The Nashville Predators extended their franchise record win streak to 10 in a row with a hard fought win over the visiting Anaheim Ducks, 4-2 tonight at Bridgestone Arena.
In front of another sold out Smashville home crowd and the NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, the Predators fought off a furious Anaheim third period assault to clinch the victory.
Craig Smith got Nashville on the board first at 5:26 of the first period, with his wrist shot that beat Anaheim goalie John Gibson for the early 1-0 lead. Smith was assisted by Kyle Turris and Ryan Hartman on the score.
Ryan Johansen then gave the Predators a 2-0 lead at 15:10 of the first period when he tipped in a loose puck from a shot on goal by Filip Forsberg. Viktor Arvidsson also assisted on the goal.
Nashville Predators left wing Viktor Arvidsson (33) scores past Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson (36) during the third period at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)
That’s how the first period would end, with Nashville leading Anaheim, 2-0. Anaheim had been on a bit of a win streak of its own having won it’s last three games in a row.
When the teams returned to the ice for the second period, it didn’t take Nashville long to add to it’s lead. Austin Watson would score a short-handed goal at 18:42 of the period to give the Predators a 3-0 lead. Watson’s goal came after the initial shot by Ryan Ellis was blocked by Gibson, but Watson tipped in the loose puck for the score.
Anaheim would come out for the third period with a full on assault against Nashville and Pekka Rinne, the Predator’s goalie.
Rickard Rakell would get the Ducks on the scoreboard at 6:04 of the third period with a slap shot that beat Rinne over the shoulder, and the score was 3-1. Rakell was assisted by Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.
Rakell would garner his second goal of the night at 16:35 of the third period when he scored on a wrist shot and suddenly it was a one goal game, 3-2. Rakell was assisted by Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg on the score.
Anaheim continued it’s relentless pressure on net, when suddenly, Nashville took off on a two on one fast break with Ryan Johansen taking a sniper of a pass from Filip Forsberg, and then passed to Viktor Arvidsson would seal the deal with his wrist shot, giving the Predators the final score of the game, 4-2.
Nashville Predators general manager David Poile (right) is honored by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman for being the winningest general manager in NHL history before a game between the Predators and the Anaheim Ducks at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)
Before the game, the Predators honored their General Manager, David Poile, who recently became the winningest GM in the HISTORY of the NHL, with 1320 wins. Poile is the only General Manager the franchise has ever had.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was on hand for the celebration as the sold-out Bridgestone Arena crowd gave Poile a standing ovation.
Nashville leads the Winnipeg Jets by six points in the central division of the Western Conference and will host the Jets on Tuesday night in Smashville.
The Predators will play host to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena. Puck drops at 7:00pm.
SectionsFeatured Story, Hockey, Nashville Predators, NFL, Professional Teams, Sports, Sports Leagues
Topicsanaheim ducks, Austin Watson, Bridgestone Arena, Clarksville TN, Corey Perry, Craig Smith, david poile, Ducks, Filip Forsberg, gary bettman, Hockey, Jakob Silfverberg, John Gibson, Nashville Predators, Nashville TN, National Hockey League, New Jersey Devils, NHL, Predators, Rickard Rakell, ryan ellis, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Hartman, Ryan Johansen, smashville, Tennessee, Viktor Arvidsson, Western Conference, Winnipeg Jets