Ducks Lose Second Straight Game In Nashville

The Ducks completed the first of 15 back-to-back games this season.

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Ducks Fall 4-1 To Predators

Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Steve Sullivan notched the go-ahead goal, as Nashville opened its 2010-11 season with a 4-1 win over Anaheim at Bridgestone Arena.

Marcel Goc, Patric Hornqvist and David Legwand added goals, and Pekka Rinne turned aside 29 shots to earn the win for the Predators, who improved to 6-6 in season openers.

"Our special teams were outstanding tonight and won us the game," said Nashville head coach Barry Trotz. "We had a lot of zone time on the power play and we're able to keep them from setting anything up when they were on the power play. Special teams will win you the game and they did tonight."

Saku Koivu scored the only goal, while Jonas Hiller stopped 45 shots for the Ducks, who were blanked 4-0 by Detroit in their season starter Friday.

Nashville finished last season 47-29-6 and in seventh place in the Western Conference before bowing out in the first round of the playoffs to eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago, while the Ducks' late season push for the postseason fell short and they wound up finishing in 11th place in the West.

Sullivan's power-play tally put the Preds back in the lead for good at 8:33 of the second period with a one-timer from the top of left circle.

Hornqvist batted home a rebound out of mid air off a Shea Weber shot from the point to give the hosts a two-goal cushion with just under four minutes remaining in the period.

Rinne left the ice 2 1/2 minutes into the third period after a collision in his crease and was replaced by Anders Lindback, who denied all seven Anaheim shots he faced.

Legwand took a pass on the right side of the net and his initial backhand attempt was stopped by a sprawling Hiller, who couldn't recover when Legwand corraled the rebound and flipped over the prone netminder with 7:31 to play.

Goc started the scoring 4:10 into the middle stanza with a wrist shot from the right side that beat Hiller.

Saku Koivu took a pass in the slot and wristed it past Rinne 75 seconds later to get the game even at one.

Nashville has won five of its last seven season starters...Rinne improved to 4-2-2 in his career against Anaheim...Sullivan added an assist and has 33 points in 40 games against the Ducks..Hiller fell to 2-4-0 in his career against Nashville...The Ducks completed the first of 15 back-to-back games this season.

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Ducks Recall Festerling After Sutton Thumb Injury

The Anaheim Ducks have recalled defenseman Brett Festerling from the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL, the club has announced today. The move comes after Andy Sutton fractured his right thumb in last night's season opener with the Detroit Red Wings.

Festerling was placed on waivers by the Ducks on September 30, then assigned to Syracuse the next day. He has appeared in 82 games for Anaheim over the last two seasons.

For more Ducks news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Anaheim Calling.

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Anaheim Ducks Head To Nashville To Battle Predators

(Sports Network) - Excellent play by goaltender Pekka Rinne last year helped the Predators reach the postseason for the fifth time in the last six seasons. An outstanding preseason by the Finnish netminder has Nashville thinking he can do it again.

Rinne and the Predators are set to begin their regular season this evening with a matchup against the Anaheim Ducks at Bridgestone Arena.

The 27-year-old went an excellent 32-16-5 in 58 games last year, posting a 2.53 goals-against average and seven shutouts. Rinne then posted a 2.68 GAA in six games versus the Blackhawks in the opening round of last season's playoffs, but the Preds were eliminated in six games and remain without a series victory in five all-time trips to the postseason.

Nashville qualified for the postseason as the seventh seed and its 47 wins and 100 points were the club's highest single-season totals in three seasons.

Rinne did not slow down in four preseason appearances, going 2-0-0 with a 0.99 GAA and .957 save percentage. He is 3-2-2 in seven career starts versus the Ducks with a 2.12 GAA and one shutout.

The goaltender will also benefit tonight from having one of the top all-around defenseman in the league in front of him in Shea Weber, who had 16 goals last year and inherited the captain role after Jason Arnott was traded in the offseason.

Weber teams with Ryan Suter to form a very good defensive pairing and the Predators also added former Canuck blueliner Shane O'Brien to the fold after a trade on Tuesday.

Offensive additions to Nashville this season include speedy center Matthew Lombardi and forward Sergei Kostitsyn, joining a group headed by Steve Sullivan and Patric Hornqvist. Hornqvist had a club-best 30 goals last year and matched Sullivan's team-leading 51 points.

Kostitsyn (foot) and Martin Erat (back spasms) are both questionable for this contest.

The Ducks are still looking for their first goal of the 2010-11 season after losing last night's season opener, 4-0, in Detroit.

Jonas Hiller stopped 39-of-43 shots faced, while the Ducks managed just 21 shots to begin a season-opening three-game road trip.

"You can't just go out there and play 80 percent if you play the Detroit Red Wings," Hiller said.

Cam Fowler, the 12th overall pick of the 2010 draft who grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, made his NHL debut and the defenseman blocked five shots in just over 21 minutes of ice time.

These two clubs split four meetings last year, with each team winning once at home and on the road. The Ducks have won four of six and six of the last 10 meetings overall as well as three of their last five trips to Nashville.

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