Ducks-Predators: Powerplay, Selanne Doom Preds In OT

Garett KerberContributor IMarch 19, 2009

On a night where Joel Ward had two goals and Ryan Suter had three assists, the Preds couldn't pull out a win in Anaheim.

Pekka Rinne stopped 27 of 31 shots and had an overall good game in the net, but the Ducks's power play was just too much to handle. The Ducks scored their final three goals on power plays, including Teemu Selanne's OT winner just 34 seconds into the period. It was Selanne's 1,200th NHL point.

"We knew they had a really good power play, and they really executed," Rinne said. "Their power play won the game for them. We played an undisciplined game and took some unnecessary penalties."(credit to

The two-goal night gives Ward back-to-back multi-point performances and gives the Predators some hope that they'll have a real scoring threat by the time Jason Arnott returns from an upper-body injury.

The OT loss did put the Preds closer to the playoffs as they gained a point on the Dallas Stars who lost 2-1 to Calgary. Any points gained is a plus, but two-point nights will go a long ways toward sealing a playoff spot.

The Preds need to get back in the saddle tonight as they take on the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks have clinched the Pacific Division, but that doesn't mean they'll be any less dominate than they have been the entire year.

As for the teams chasing the Predators for playoff positions:

Edmonton, currently in eighth and one point behind Nashville, travels to Colorado tonight. (This game seems like the 90th game these two squads have played this year. Am I imagining this or does it not seem like they have played every single week?)

Minnesota and Dallas, both two points behind the Preds, are off tonight.

St. Louis is three points back and takes on the Canucks and the Anaheim Ducks—who are four points behind the Predators—face against the Phoenix Coyotes.

For the Preds, the key is winning games. When a loss occurs, then the scoreboard watching can come into play, but the Predators must win games down this final 11-game stretch if they hope to stay in the playoffs.