The Nashville Predators returned home from their road trip and dropped a 4-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks
Nashville went 2-1-0 on their three-game road trip and returned home with new head coach John Hynes. Hynes’ first true game in front of the Smashville crowd ended in a 4-2 loss against the Anaheim Ducks.
The puck dropped and the battle began. Juuse Saros got the start in net. The first few minutes had some good play with Granlund, Smith, and others attacking the Ducks as they attempted to take control of the puck. Offensively, they were able to take a few high danger shots, but could not put it past Gibson. Things started to look slow, and Manson net his first goal of the season to claim a 1-0 lead. Under two minutes later, the Ducks go on the powerplay as Dante Fabbro takes a seat for hooking. Henrique found his 15th goal of the season with a powerplay goal to make it 2-0. Viktor Arvidsson strikes back 1:34 after with a goal to put the Predators within 1. Roman Josi shot from the point and Arvidsson got the stick on it to put it past Gibson. They end the first period trailing 2-1.
Rocco Grimaldi thinks back and said, “It feels like when we go down 1-0 or 2-0, it seems like we just are down on the bench. You can’t just sit there like ‘Oh well here we go again.’ Sometimes the mindset on the bench gets quiet.”
In the second period, the Ducks furthered their lead with an even strength goal from Rakell. There was a small turn of momentum in their favor when Collin Blackwell sent De Leo into the Predators’ bench. Still, that energy vanished. The Predators needed a push in their game or a “wake up call,” if you will.
Nashville, previously in the season, came out ready to strike offensively in the third period. Thinking a chat in the locker room would fire up this team, things did not change for the better, even with the man advantage. They were awarded their first powerplay of the night in the third period, but Grant made it 4-1 with a shorthanded goal. The arena cleared out. There was still plenty of time remaining to have a comeback, but Mikael Granlund was the only one able to find the back of the net.
“We’ve got to stop beating our self”, said a firm head coach John Hynes. “We’ve got to make sure we’re not throwing the word ‘confidence’ around. You’ve got to earn it. We’ve got to earn it by how we work, how we prepare, and how we play. That’s what we have to do moving forward.”
The Nashville Predators continue their play at home on Saturday night against the Buffalo Sabres.