Preds go Duck hunting, again, to take 2-0 series lead


This series couldn’t have started better for Nashville.

And it couldn’t have started worse for the Ducks.

After stealing home-ice advantage with their Game 1 win, the Preds stunned the Anaheim faithful on Sunday night, capturing Game 2 by a 3-2 scoreline to take a commanding 2-0 series lead.

Shea Weber scored the game-winning goal on a late second period power-play, and Pekka Rinne stopped 27 of 29 shots to push Nashville to victory, and put the Pacific Division champs in a tough spot.

Craig Smith and Mattias Ekholm also scored for Nashville.

For Anaheim, Andrew Cogliano and Nate Thompson scored, with Thompon’s goal coming with less than three minutes remaining to set up an exciting finish.

The big story for the Ducks, though, wasn’t the guys on the scoresheet — it was those who failed to crack it.

After all three notched points in the series opener, Corey Perry, Ryan Kesler and captain Ryan Getzlaf put up goose eggs on Sunday.

Anaheim’s defense also continued to struggle offensively. Not a single one hit the scoresheet Sunday, leaving Hampus Lindholm as the only blueliner to have scored a point this series, and it was on an assist in Game 1.

Meanwhile, forwards Jakob Silfverberg, Rickard Rakell, David Perron, Jamie McGinn and Chris Stewart all remain pointless this series.

Looking ahead, this are going to be very intriguing as the teams shift to Bridgestone for Game 3.

The Preds are now in the driver’s seat, and have to be thrilled at the prospect of returning home — where they went 23-11-7 this year — with two wins already in the bag. Rinne’s been solid, the defense has held Anaheim to just two goals per game and the scoring has been balanced, with six different players accounting for the club’s six goals.

For the Ducks… yikes.

The club’s now facing the daunting task of needing to win four of the next five games — three of which will come on the road. One also has to wonder what lineup changes head coach Bruce Boudreau might consider.

Specifically, one has to wonder if Boudreau will contemplate a goalie switch.

While John Gibson can’t be faulted for either of the two losses, Boudreau could take a page from the Detroit book. Wings head coach Jeff Blashill pulled a successful goalie switch on Sunday night — after losing the first two games of their series with Tampa Bay, he parked Jimmy Howard in favor of Petr Mrazek tonight, and Mrazek posted a 2-0 shutout win.

Will the Ducks go the same route in Nashville?