Fasth wins eighth straight as Ducks beat Preadators 3-2 in shootoutBy Bucky Dent, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Sun, Feb 17, 2013 12:11 AM EST
NASHVILLE - Bruce Boudreau could tell right away that his Anaheim side didn't quite have the energy that Nashville possessed. But the Ducks had their hot 30-year old rookie goaltender and that was all they needed to finish their longest road trip of the season on a very successful note. Victor Fasth won his eighth straight start Saturday night, making 32 saves and then turning back two attempts in a shootout as Anaheim outlasted the Predators 3-2 at Bridgestone Arena. Fasth is one win away from the NHL record for most wins to start a career, held by Ray Emery of Ottawa from 2003-03. The 6-foot-0, 186-pound Fasth is the first goalie in league history to win his first eight starts. "I had a pretty good feeling that we were going on fumes," Boudreau said after his team ended their six-game trip at 5-1-0. "But the one guy who had the energy tonight was our goalkeeper. He was tremendous." The Ducks (11-2-1) got shootout goals from Nick Bonino and Corey Perry. Nashville's Gabriel Bourque never got off a shot as he tried to force a fourth round. Anaheim moved within two points of Chicago for the top spot in the Western Conference despite being outshot 34-22 and having to kill five penalties, including one which stretched into the first 88 seconds of overtime. "This was one of our tougher games," Fasth said. "It was a battle the whole game. We kept working hard, even though we weren't on it from the start, and we got away with the win." Nashville (7-3-5) stormed the Anaheim zone early and often, ripping 14 shots at Fasth in the first period and taking a 1-0 lead when David Legwand stuffed Jonathan Blum's rebound through the goalie's pads at 13:31. The Ducks evened the score at 17:25 when Matt Beleskey cashed in Corey Perry's pretty setup from behind the net, wristing a shot from the slot past Pekka Rinne. It was the first goal allowed by Rinne since the third period of a 3-0 loss Sunday night against Chicago. After killing off 1 minute, 54 seconds of 5-on-3 power play time in the second period, Nashville regained the lead at 9:31 when Shea Weber wristed a shot from the blue line off an Anaheim defender and past Fasth. Replays showed that the puck deflected off a player on the Ducks bench before Weber's goal, but the officials didn't whistle the play dead. It was the first goal of the season for the Predators' captain, and the 100th of his career. Weber, who signed a 14-year, $110-million contract with Nashville after it matched Philadelphia's offer sheet on July 24, enjoyed perhaps his best game of the shortened season with six shots on goal and five blocked shots in 27 minutes, 14 seconds of ice time. "Hopefully, the first one opens the gates for him," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "It looks like he's getting into a rhythm." Anaheim tied it up at 16:08 when Patrick Maroon camped in front of Rinne and deflected Kyle Palmieri's shot through his legs for the first goal of his career. Rinne finished with 20 saves, but he was overshadowed by Fasth, a Swede who played in his native country for 11 years before signing a one-year, million-dollar contract with Anaheim last May. The modest investment is paying off on a nightly basis. "It's the team effort that counts," said Fasth, deflecting questions about his record. "If the guys don't play good, I don't play good." Perhaps because of how his team outplayed the Ducks most of the night, Trotz wasn't all that upset with the final outcome. "We played a good game against a good team and that's what I told the guys afterward," he said. "We'd like to tack on some points in overtime and the shootout, but we've gotten points in 12 of 15 games. Not a lot of teams can say that." NOTES: Nashville defenseman Hal Gill, who was scratched the last two games as Trotz opted to play a standard lineup of 12 forwards and six backliners, dressed and played in place of right wing Brandon Yip. Trotz went with seven defensemen against offensive-minded Anaheim. ... Ducks defensemen Sheldon Souray and Francois Beauchemin started the night tied for the NHL lead in plus-minus at plus 13. ... Nashville announced its 20th straight sellout crowd of 17,113, dating back to last season and including five playoff games. ... Anaheim's Teemu Selanne entered the night needing four points to tie Bryan Trottier for 15th on the NHL's all-time scoring list. Selanne has 1,421 in his 1,354-game career.
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