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their slim playoff hopes alive when they fac

Thu May 10, 2018 8:38 am

NASHVILLE -- The Anaheim Ducks regained their scoring touch -- with a little help from the Nashville Predators. After scoring only two goals in three straight losses, the Ducks beat the Predators 5-2 om Saturday night. Ryan Getzlaf scored twice and Jonas Hiller made 36 saves as Anaheim heads into the Olympic break with an NHL-best 41 wins and 87 points. The Predators also offered a boost. Anaheims first two goals were deflected in by Nashville players. The Ducks third goal, the go-ahead shot early in the third, was directed in by Emerson Etem after Hampus Lindholm unloaded a slap shot toward a crowded net. "You create your own chances," said right winger Corey Perry, who scored his 30th goal. "You go out there and you do the things that you got here and stick with them. Eventually its going to come." The Ducks, winners of five straight against the Predators, fell behind 1-0 and were outshot 14-7 in the first period. But Nashville failed to hold Anaheim scoreless in any period. Getzlaf tied it with 1:11 left in the period. The Canadian Olympians wrist shot from the left side deflected off Predators defenceman Roman Josi and by goalie Carter Hutton. Perry scored midway through the second. With 49 seconds left in a four-minute power play, Perry flipped a backhander toward the crease. The puck bounced off the skate of the Predators Victor Bartley and into the net. "When you havent won for a while, and then you get the lead, you get really determined," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. The Predators tied it early in the third on a power play that began in the second period. Fisher scored his 16th goal of the season on a slap shot 1:05 into the third. Etem broke the tie, getting in front of Hutton at the last second and deflecting Lindholms slap shot. Mathieu Perreault sealed the victory 3 minutes later by smacking in Daniel Winniks pass. "The goal that that was a killer was the fourth one," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "A couple of our forwards turned their back on the puck. He put it into an empty space where they just jumped on it." Getzlaf, who also had an assist, smacked an empty-net goal the length of the ice with 36 seconds left for his 29th goal. It was also his seventh three-point game of the season. With 67 points, hes second in the league behind Pittsburghs Sidney Crosby. Though it was their first win this February, the Ducks improved to 23-7 in their last 30 games, which includes an 11-2 mark on the road. "It was a real big win," Boudreau said. "We didnt want to go the next 20 days knowing we lost four in a row. That puts a little bit of distance between us and San Jose (80 points). It brings us closer to 90 now without teams catching up to us." Viktor Stalberg opened the scoring for the Predators with 8:25 left in the first period. Hiller blocked Victor Bartleys slap shot, but Stalberg was there to fling a shot over the sprawling goalie. Mike Fisher also bested Hiller on a power-play goal early in the third period for a brief 2-2 tie. Otherwise, Hiller thwarted Nashvilles best chances all night. In the second period, he made a play on a slap shot by Shea Weber that knocked the stick out of Hillers hands. Later, he emphatically snatched a wrist shot by Ryan Ellis. Hiller, who entered ranked 30th in the league with a .917 save percentage, will head to Sochi to play for Switzerland in his second Olympics. "I thought Hiller was a big difference," Trotz said. "I thought we played a real solid game and the most scoring chances weve created on any team this year was against the No. 1 team in the league." Despite just 24 shots by the Ducks, the Predators lost their third straight. Nashville will try to climb up from the bottom of the Central Division when it returns from the break. "We just have to keep playing the same way and fight hard every game," Josi said. "From now on, every game is going to be a playoff game, and we just have to make a push." Notes: Lindholm had two assists. ... Nashville has 60 points at 25-24-10 and is just one point behind Winnipeg. ... Ducks winger Teemu Selanne did not travel with the team to Nashville in order to gain some rest before joining Team Finland in Sochi for his sixth Olympics. ... Predators defenceman Michael Del Zotto played in his 300th game. ... Predators general manager David Poile, the general manager of the U.S. Olympic team, will not head to Sochi with Team USA after an puck hit him in the head on Thursday while in Minnesota. He had two successful surgeries on his nose and eye areas and remained in the hospital for further observation. C.J. Miles Jersey . Sopoaga hit the upright with his first shot at goal from 15 metres. 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The 23-year-old restricted free agent appeared in all 48 games last season, finishing second among all Sabres skaters with 15 goals and 34 points.GIRONA, Spain -- Slovenian cyclist Luka Mezgec followed up an opening day victory by winning the second leg of the Volta a Catalunya on Tuesday to keep the overall lead. The Giant-Shimano cyclist beat Italian pair Roberto Ferrari and Daniele Ratto in a sprint finish to win in a time of 3 hours, 57 minutes, 49 seconds. Mezgec leads Ferrari by 14 seconds overall with a time of 8:06:42 as cyclists endured rain and cold weather during a 168-kilometre (104-mile) run. With the seven-stage race heading toward the Pyrenees mountains next, Mezgec is not expected to hang on to the lead in a field that includes Tour de France champion Christopher Froome and Alberto Contador. 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