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Predators look to stop Ducks to complete perfect road trip

by Staff

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If the Nashville Predators are to complete a perfect road stretch, they must find a way to avoid being swept in their season series by the Anaheim Ducks.

The Predators will eye a fifth consecutive victory when they visit the Ducks on Sunday in Anaheim, Calif.

Nashville was mired in a 2-6-1 rut before embarking on a five-game road run and has outscored opponents 18-8 in winning the first four — and moved into the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Kiefer Sherwood scored twice while Filip Forsberg recorded a goal with an assist in Saturday’s 4-2 win at lowly San Jose.

“We understand where we are in the standings and where we are in the season,” Nashville forward Colton Sissons said. “Points are so crucial, and it doesn’t matter where teams are in the standings.”

The Predators certainly don’t expect to take Anaheim, owner of the third-fewest points in the NHL, lightly to close out their trip. Nashville has been outscored 8-5 in losing the two previous 2023-24 meetings with the Ducks — both at home. It hasn’t been swept in a season series by Anaheim since 2014-15.

However, the Ducks are mired in a 2-4-1 stretch after falling 3-2 in a shootout at Los Angeles on Saturday. Twice, Anaheim went ahead on goals by Jakob Silfverberg and Sam Carrick but got no more before losing in the shootout.

“We’re a fairly young team here, and still finding our way a little bit, but at a certain point you have to take responsibility for your actions,” Carrick, who snapped a nine-game point drought, told Bally Sports West.

“We need to bring it every day. We’re professionals. It’s our job.”

John Gibson made a season-high 48 saves against the Kings, and stopped 28 shots during the Ducks‘ 3-2 win at Nashville on Nov. 14. However, teammate Lukas Dostal, who owns a 4.64 goals-against average while losing four of his last five starts, could be in net for this back-to-back scenario.

Dostal made 39 saves during Anaheim’s 5-3 victory at Nashville on Jan. 9.

Meanwhile, Nashville stalwart Juuse Saros stopped 23 shots Saturday, and has a 1.67 goals-against while winning all three of his starts during this road stretch. Saros allowed eight goals on 53 shots faced in both games versus Anaheim this season.

Backup Kevin Lankinen (3.20 GAA), a winner in four of his last five starts, could get the call for the Predators as they also deal with their own back-to-back.

Forsberg, who took sole over possession of second place for career points (568) in Predators history with his two points against the Sharks on Saturday, has a goal in the two games against the Ducks this season. He’s totaled three goals with five assists in his past two games at Anaheim.

Anaheim’s Troy Terry had six points in the previous two games before being blanked against the Kings. He also appeared to get banged up when he took a hard hit in the third period but returned to the game.

Terry has four goals and two assists in his past six games against the Predators. He shares the team points lead (45) with Frank Vatrano, who has a point in three straight versus Nashville.

—Field Level Media

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