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Ducks' Jonas Hiller shuts out Predators

Teemu Selanne scores twice, assisted both times by fellow Finn Saku Koivu.

November 06, 2009|Robyn Norwood

Jonas Hiller has taken some shots this season behind a revamped Ducks defense that has given up more than its share.

But Hiller stopped everything he faced Thursday, making 40 saves in a 4-0 victory over Nashville at the Honda Center for his first shutout of the season and fifth of his career.

Teemu Selanne scored two goals -- both assisted by Saku Koivu -- and Todd Marchant and Bobby Ryan added the others.

It looked like a laugher in the end, but the Ducks were clinging to a 1-0 lead much of the game before they broke through for three goals in the third.

It was only the fifth win of the season for the Ducks, who have struggled unexpectedly. At times, it felt as if something would go wrong in this one, even with a lead against a Nashville team that was short-handed because of injuries.

"The tension level is up every game," Coach Randy Carlyle said. "We were never feeling it was our game, 1-0. One bounce can hurt you. We had to stay resilient."

The Ducks led early, 1-0, after Selanne scored from low on the left faceoff circle at 15:32 of the first with the Ducks still on a power play after a five-on-three opportunity expired.

The goal helped Selanne pass Jean Beliveau for 38th on the NHL's all-time points list, and moved him into 10th all-time in power-play goals.

It was the first of two goals assisted by Koivu, a fellow Finn who signed with the Ducks in the off-season.

"We've been looking for that chemistry, and they have too," Carlyle said. "It's not an easy thing to do when expectations are so high, and their expectations are so high, for that marriage to produce."

What at first appeared to be a comparatively easy night for the Ducks started to look more and more dangerous as the Ducks put Nashville on power play after power play.

The Ducks kept killing them, though, thwarting Nashville on five after killing all six they faced in a loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

"We knew we had to do something. We were struggling a little bit the beginning of the year," Hiller said. "We worked hard on it in practice. We just have to keep it up and do the same job the next game."

Selanne's second goal came when he cashed in a pass from Koivu in the slot at 8:05 of the third with the teams skating four on four.

Marchant gave the Ducks real breathing room when he created a goal with a hit on David Legwand along the right-wing wall that freed the puck, then dashed to the front of the net, where he cashed in a pass from Petteri Nokelainen at 9:51 for his first goal of the season.

"I didn't expect it to take that long either," Marchant said. "Sometimes you can't figure out how and why and what's going on.

"It's nice to get one on the board, but more important to get two points here at home."


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