Scoring! Offense! Winning!
Tonight was fun. It's always fun to beat the living daylights out of Anaheim, but tonight was pretty cathartic. The Predators put a whole touchdown up on the Ducks (without the extra point, mind you) in a 6-1 win Tuesday evening at Bridgestone Arena.
One of the biggest takeaways from tonight: the Preds rained on the Ducks' second place league-wide save percentage (94.0). Their ruthless offense forced Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins to pull goalie John Gibson after allowing four goals on 16 shots and replace him with Ryan Miller, who subsequently allowed two goals on 11 shots. Miller and Gibson are ranked seventh and eighth, respectively, in individual save percentage of all NHL goalies. Before tonight, the Ducks had also allowed the second-least goals against in the league.
Captain Roman Josi got things started about halfway through the first period, collecting a pass from Matt Duchene and whipping a wrist shot past Gibson from the point. Ryan Ellis was credited with the secondary assist. About five minutes later, Colton Sissons scored arguably the most impressive goal of the night. Coming out of the penalty box after a slashing call, he recovered a loose puck at the red line, broke out into open Anaheim ice, and roofed one over Gibson's shoulders. Seriously, it'll make you lose your mind.
There's nothing like a Rocco Grimaldi goal to soothe the soul. 35 seconds into the second period, he scored on a beautiful tip-in from a long-distance Nick Bonino shot to give the Preds the 3-0 lead. Josi notched the secondary assist. About two minutes later, the Ducks' Troy Terry got a huge opportunity on a breakaway but was interrupted after being hooked by Yannick Weber. It turned out to be okay, though; Terry was awarded a penalty shot but was stoned by Pekka Rinne. Still up 3-0 but on the penalty kill, Mattias Ekholm put together a sequence in which he stole the puck from Hampus Lindholm and scored short-handed on a wrist shot. 4-0.
If it weren't for a lazy pass by Dan Hamhuis in the third period, Rinne might have had the shutout. Alas, Getzlaf capitalized on the turnover and zipped a wrist shot to make the score 4-1. No matter for Viktor Arvidsson, though. 30 seconds later he scooped up the loose puck and snapped one into the top right corner of the Anaheim net. Calle Jarnkrok capped off the scoring on a two-on-one with Arvidsson a few minutes later, poking his own rebound past a stunned Ryan Miller. Kyle Turris obtained the secondary assist.
Tonight's win is the Preds' first in three games, but it couldn't have been made with more assertion. Though Ellis' five-game multi-point streak was halted, he still recorded an assist, three blocks, and a +2 on-ice rating. Jarnkrok was the only Predator to post a +3 rating for the game. The Preds went 1/6 on the power play.