RECAP: Ducks beat Predators 4-3 in shootout
Defenseman Francois Beauchemin scored the tying goal with 2:17 left in the third period and Ryan Kesler got the deciding goal in the shootout, giving the Anaheim Ducks a 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators on Sunday night.
Matt Beleskey and Corey Perry also had goals in regulation for the league-leading Ducks, and Frederik Andersen made 27 saves in a matchup of division leaders.
Seth Jones and Craig Smith had power-play goals in the second period and Mattias Ekholm also scored for the Predators. Backup goalie Carter Hutton stopped 30 shots, but remained winless in five starts this season – all on the road.
The Ducks tied it late as Beauchemin poked the puck past Hutton’s right skate during a goalmouth scramble for his second goal of an injury-plagued season.
The Predators dropped to a tie atop the Central Division with Chicago, which beat Dallas in overtime.
The Ducks had four penalties called against them during a 6:37 span of the second period, after playing the first 35 1/2 minutes without getting one. Two of those infractions led to the power-play goals that gave Nashville a 3-2 lead.
Jones tied the score with 6:10 left in the period on a double deflection off Kesler’s stick and Ben Lovejoy’s leg after taking long wrist shot with Beauchemin serving a holding-the-stick penalty. Smith put the Predators ahead with 2:46 to go, converting a rebound while Perry was off for tripping Shea Weber.
Beleskey opened the scoring with 7:45 left in the first with his team-high and career-best 17th goal, beating Hutton with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle after Kesler knocked heralded rookie Filip Forsberg off the puck in the neutral zone. Forsberg, who leads all rookies with 36 points, entered the game with a plus-23 rating.
Ekholm tied it at 1:38 of the second with a slap shot from the top of the left circle. Anaheim regained the lead 74 seconds later on a sharp-angle shot from the right circle by Perry, his 15th goal this season and first in three games after missing the previous 10 because of a sprained knee.
NOTES: Hutton received a Stanley Cup ring from the Chicago Blackhawks after the 2012-13 season despite playing in only one game for them because Ray Emery was too ill to play. It was a 3-1 loss at St. Louis in his NHL debut. … The Ducks have been short-handed 17 times over their last three games, after a four-game stretch in which they were a man down just six times. … Forsberg’s assist on Ekholm’s goal was his 37th point, the most among rookies, and tied Alexander Radulov’s franchise rookie record. Forsberg has six goals in 22 games following his six-game goal-scoring streak, which began with a pair at Vancouver.
The Ducks are 23-2-6 when allowing fewer than four goals. The only losses were 2-0 to St. Louis and 3-0 to San Jose. … Anaheim has won six of seven meetings against Nashville since the start of the 2012-13 season. … Seventeen of Anaheim’s last 19 victories have been by one-goal margins, including four in overtime and four by shootout. They lead the NHL with 20 one-goal victories. … The Ducks have already played 15 games past regulation, just three fewer than all of last season. … Anaheim is 1 for 27 on the power play in its last nine games.