Tootoo has goal, assist and fight in Predators’ 4-2 win over Ducks
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—Jordin Tootoo did it all, despite being on the ice for less than 4 minutes.
The Predators snapped a two-game losing streak and ended Anaheim’s two-game winning run.
Tootoo broke a scoreless tie at 5:52 of the first period with his sixth goal of the season.
“That was a big faceoff win by Vern,” Tootoo said. “He knows I can get the puck off pretty quickly, and fortunately I got the shot off quick enough.”
Added Fiddler: “I told him to go behind me. That was a play we were trying to do, and he made a great shot.”
Five minutes later, Tootoo fought Anaheim defenseman Joe DiPenta.
Tootoo made his impact in limited time; he was credited with just 3:45 of ice time.
With just 15.1 seconds remaining in the first period, Alexander Radulov extended the Predators lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal. Standing in the high slot, Radulov redirected a pass from defenseman Marek Zidlicky through the legs of Hiller for his sixth goal.
“I thought we had a really strong first period,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “They played last night, so we tried to get a jump on them early and we did.”
Nashville outshot Anaheim 19-6 in the first period. The Predators finished with a 33-23 advantage in shots on goal, and recorded 15 of then on their ten power plays. The Ducks had just three opportunities with a man advantage, and failed to manage a single shot on any of them.
“I have a feeling or a belief that fatigue is part of everyday life as a hockey player,” Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. “We are taking far too many penalties, and this is an all-too-familiar statement.”
Ducks captain Chris Pronger agreed with his head coach. “It’s discipline to the rules, it’s discipline to our structure, and the way we want to play,” he said. “We have to understand that not only are teams looking to egg us on, but the referees are looking at us too, and we don’t help ourselves out in that regard as well.”
Ryan Suter put the Predators ahead 3-0 midway through the second period with a wrist shot from the left point through traffic in front of Hiller. Tootoo was credited with the only assist.
“All good teams have good balance from their forwards and defense in scoring,” Suter said. “This was a big game for us, because we lost two in a row, and we didn’t want to lose three in a row.”
Former Predators player Shane Hnidy got the Ducks on the board at 14:14 of the second period with his first of the season, scoring off of a wrist shot from the high slot.
Jerred Smithson’s short-handed goal at 9:21 of the third period sealed the win.
Ryan Getzlaf added a short-handed goal at 16:44 of the third period for the Ducks.
“Anytime anyone on their top two lines gets a chance, you know it is going to be a quality one,” Nashville goaltender Chris Mason said. “They don’t just come down the wing and shoot the puck, they hold it and try to make plays.”
Fiddler made his return to the Nashville lineup after missing two games due to a strained groin. … Hnidy’s goal ended a stretch of 59 games without one. … The Predators are 11-1-1 when they score first. … The Ducks played their second of a three-game in four-night march through Central Division teams Chicago, Nashville, and Columbus. … Smithson’s short-handed goal was the second scored by the Predators this season.