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Ducks' Fasth shines in shootout, wins debut

The SportsXchange

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Viktor Fasth's first career start did not begin well.

It sure ended on a high note.

The Anaheim Ducks goalie denied Nashville's David Legwand in an overtime shootout to seal his first career victory, a 3-2 win over the visiting Predators on Saturday night at the Honda Center.

Nashville went 0-for-3 against Fasth in the shootout, with Martin Erat missing his shot and Fasth making a save against Mike Fisher.

"I just tried to wait as long as possible and get them to make the first move," Fasth said. "That's basically what you have to do as a goalie. I don't like to (know beforehand) what I think they're supposed to so, so I just tried to wait."

Added Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau: "He was just calm as a cucumber. I've never been a goalie and never want to be one, but that's the demeanor they have to have to be successful. I thought even in the shootout, it was like, have a cup of coffee and wait for them to come down. (Fasth) was pretty relaxed."

Corey Perry snuck a goal past Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne to put Anaheim ahead in the shootout, fooling Rinne with a double move before scoring with a wrist shot. That gave Fasth one last chance to shut down Legwand, whose third-period goal put the Predators (1-2-2) ahead 2-1 with just less than 10 minutes remaining.

As they did earlier in the game, though, the Ducks rallied.

Predictably, it was Daniel Winnik.

Winnik scored his fifth goal of the young season -- he had eight all of last year -- less than two minutes later to tie the score at 2 after receiving a pinpoint pass in front of the goal from Perry. Winnik is now off to the hottest offensive start in team history, as are the Ducks (3-1). Anaheim has 15 goals through four games, tying the 2006-07 squad for the franchise's best scoring start.

"It is confidence and it is character," Boudreau said. "That other team is probably the hardest-working team in the league, or has the reputation of the hardest-working team in the league, and I thought we worked every step that they did. For a team that's played back-to-back games early in the season, I thought it was a great effort."

Added Anaheim's Matt Belesky: "It shows character with our team. We got down there 2-1 and we fought back. There was a great shootout goal by Perry and some awesome goaltending for us."

Not for the first two minutes.

Nashville's Brandon Yip grabbed his own rebound and poked it past Fasth just 1:52 into the first period, putting the Ducks behind early for the second consecutive game. On Friday, Anaheim fell behind 2-0 in the first period of a 5-0 loss to the visiting Vancouver Canucks.

Anaheim tied the score with 32.4 seconds left in the second period as Bobby Ryan scored his first goal of the season. Ryan redirected a slap shot by Cam Fowler that was already redirected by Teemu Selanne.

Fasth finished with 19 saves as he won his first start after being called up from the AHL on Jan. 22. The Ducks turned to Fasth after Jonas Hiller allowed all five goals to the Canucks on Friday.

Rinne, who finished with 20 saves, lost in overtime for the third time this season.

"It's a little frustrating because we haven't won a shootout, but we're getting points in every game, and it is what it is," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "At the end of the day, you have to collect points, especially on the road."

Anaheim, meanwhile, has thrived late in games, and Belesky has a guess why.

"The team did a great job of staying in shape during the lockout, and that will help us in the end of games," Belesky said. "The third has been our best period this year, and that's a goal for us that we want to keep going."

NOTES: Anaheim's shutout loss to Vancouver on Friday was just its second home-opening shutout in team history. ... Nashville's Paul Gaustad was sidelined with an upper-body injury. ... Perry's game-deciding shootout goal was the eighth of his career. ... The Ducks' set of back-to-back games against Vancouver and Nashville marked its first of 10 back-to-back stretches in the lockout-shortened season. ... Nashville swept the season series 3-0 with Anaheim in 2011-12, including Rinne's 100th career victory and then-franchise-record 22nd career shutout. ... The Predators are in the midst of a team-record-tying seven-game road trip. ... Nashville was one of just three teams to finish ranked in the top 10 in both power-play percentage (first) and penalty kill (10th) last season. ... Selanne ranks 12th in NHL history in goals scored (665) but is just three goals from tying Luc Robitaille for 10th with 668. Jaromir Jagr ranks 11th with 667.

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