Predators shoot less, score more in victory at Anaheim

Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 12:46am
Staff reports

The Nashville Predators were outworked and outshot — significantly so, in terms of the latter — but not outscored.

Nashville got one goal in each of the first two periods then held on until it managed a pair of empty-net goals in the final minute of the third. The result was a third consecutive 4-1 victory, this one over the Anaheim Ducks in Anaheim.

Pekka Rinne made a season-high 40 saves as the Ducks outshot the Predators 41-22 overall, including 15-5 in the first period and 13-8 in the third.

It was just the second time this season Nashville allowed more than 40 shots. The first was Oct. 24 at Tampa Bay with rookie Anders Lindback in the nets. The Predators’ shot total was its lowest in eight games.

Patric Hornqvist and Sergei Kostitsyn each had a goal and an assist.

Hornqvist’s goal, at 3:56 of the second period, was the game-winner and his 11th of the season. That gave him the team goal-scoring lead by one over Steve Sullivan, who remains sidelined by an injury.

Kostitsyn’s goal was the first of the two empty-netters and thwarted an Anaheim rally, which peaked when Saku Koivu got the Ducks within one, 2-1, with 8:14 to play. It was Kostitsyn’s ninth of the season, which tied his career-high set in 52 games with Montreal as a rookie in 2007-08.

Jerred Smithson put Nashville ahead to stay when he scored 5:10 into the contest. Shea Weber capped the scoring with fewer than two seconds to play.

The Predators continue their three-game swing through California on Thursday when they face the Los Angeles Kings (9:30 p.m., Fox Sports-Tennessee).