NHL Game Summary - Anaheim at Nashville
(Thursday, March 24th)
Final Score: Nashville 5, Anaheim 4
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Sergei Kostitsyn scored two goals, Pekka Rinne made 34 saves and the Nashville Predators picked up two critical points in the standings with a 5-4 victory over the Anaheim Ducks at Bridgestone Arena.
The Predators appeared to be in cruise control after David Legwand buried a short-handed marker to expanded their lead to 5-1 at 9:29 of the third period. But Anaheim's Teemu Selanne capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play 10 seconds later. The veteran Finn cashed in on another two-man advantage at 15:14, when his pass towards the net deflected in off a Nashville player.
The Ducks managed to pull within a goal as Corey Perry's shot from the left wing was inadvertently kicked in by Predators defenseman Ryan Suter with 26.5 seconds remaining and goaltender Dan Ellis on the bench.
Nashville, though, held on to record its fifth consecutive win.
"It's not the way we wanted to finish, but it happens and the two points are the biggest thing and they didn't get any," Legwand said.
Nick Spaling and Jordin Tootoo both registered a goal and one assist for the Predators, who snapped Anaheim's win streak at four games.
Jonas Hiller, making his first start for the Ducks since February 13, was pulled in the first period after allowing three goals on nine shots. The Swiss goaltender had missed 15 straight games with vertigo.
Ellis finished with 17 saves in relief.
The win gave Nashville 90 points, tied for fifth with Los Angeles in the Western Conference. Anaheim is eighth with 87 points.
Nashville jumped out to a 3-0 lead, turning Hiller's anticipated return between the pipes into a brief cameo.
It didn't take the Predators long to strike as Kostitsyn pounced on a loose puck in the crease 2:04 after the game's opening faceoff.
Spaling doubled the advantage at 11:18, collecting a carom off the end boards and stuffing it home at the left side of the net. Kostitsyn lit the lamp again 19 seconds later.
Perry converted a Bobby Ryan feed to put Anaheim on the board with 3:59 to play in the first period.
Tootoo supplied the only goal in the middle stanza.
Perry ranks second in the NHL with 42 goals this season, one behind Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos...Anaheim forward Ryan Getzlaf collected three assists...Patric Hornqvist and Kevin Klein both had two assists for Nashville.
03/25 01:37:12 ET