Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Preds do their talking on the ice; Beat Ducks again

The Nashville Predators went into Anaheim and defeated the Ducks by a score of 4-2. With the win, the Predators closed out their five game road trip with a 3-1-1 record.

Nashville got off to a very fast start when Craig Smith scored 1:10 seconds into the game. Smith jammed the puck past Jonas Hiller from the side of the net to give the Predators the 1-0 lead.

Colin Wilson scored at 4:54 of the first period on a goal that was originally given to Patric Hornqvist. Wilson made a backhand pass that was intended for Hornqvist, but deflected off of Saku Koivu and into the net to give the Predators a 2-0 lead.

Anaheim got on the board at 19:21 of the first period when Cam Fowler fired a wrist shot past Pekka Rinne. Devante Smith-Pelly did an excellent job of screening Rinne in front of the net, and the puck was able get past Rinne without him seeing it.

Nashville took a 3-1 lead in the second period on a controversial play. The Ducks were on the power play when Martin Erat found himself on a shorthanded breakaway. Lubmomir Visnovsky gave Erat a little tap from behind, and the referees awarded a penalty shot to Erat. Erat was able to convert, and the Preds took a two-goal lead.

The Ducks would answer less than two minutes later when Francois Beauchemin was able to jam the puck past Rinne from the crease. Bobby Ryan threw the puck towards the net and Beauchemin was able to find the puck and jam it home.

At 1:36 of the third period, the Predators went up 4-2 when Craig Smith scored his second goal of the night. It was a great cycle sequence by the Hornqvist-Wilson-Smith line. Hornqvist dumped the puck down to Wilson who made a great play to get around the defender. Smith converted on the pass from Wilson and the Predators took a lead that would last for the remainder of the game.

With his performance against the Ducks, Smith took the rookie lead in points with 14. He's gotten off to a better start than anyone in the Predators' organization could have possibly imagined. If he keeps playing like this, he'll have to get some serious Calder Trophy consideration.

Nashville now turns its attention to the Montreal Canadiens in a night that will be very special for the organization and fans. It will be the 1,000th regular season game played in franchise history.

Hockey Night in Nashville's 3 Stars of the game:
1. Craig Smith(NSH)
2. Colin Wilson(NSH)
3. Martin Erat(NSH)

3 Stars by Anaheim Media:
1. Martin Erat(NSH)
2. Craig Smith(NSH)
3. Francois Beauchemin(ANA)

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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