ANAHEIM (AP) — Roman Josi scored one goal and assisted on another as the Nashville Predators built a three-goal lead before holding off the Anaheim Ducks 5-3 Friday night in a rematch of last season’s Western Conference finals.
Scott Hartnell, Matt Irwin and Viktor Arvidsson also scored for the Predators in the first meeting between the teams since Nashville won their 2016-17 playoff series in six games to reach the Stanley Cup Final. Pekka Rinne made 35 saves and P.K. Subban added an empty-net goal with 18 seconds left to seal it.
The Predators had lost four straight in Anaheim since their previous victory on April 4, 2014.
Antoine Vermette, Hampus Lindholm and Jakob Silfverberg scored for the Ducks, who cut it to 4-3 in the third period after trailing by three late in the second.
Anaheim pulled within one at 7:41 of the third. Derek Grant’s shot went wide of the net and off the backboards before Silfverberg put in the rebound.
Nashville opened a 3-0 lead early in the second. Predators defenseman Matt Irwin fired a shot from just beyond the left circle and past goalie John Gibson for his first of the season.
Anaheim responded moments later, finally getting its passing game going. Nick Ritchie stole a pass at the blue line and sent it to Ondrej Kase near the net. When Rinne turned to face him, Wagner sent the puck to Vermette, who all but pushed it in.
Both teams scored on the power play near the end of the second. Arvidsson’s slap shot put the Predators ahead 4-1, but Lindholm answered with 15 seconds left in the period to leave Nashville up 4-2 heading into the third.
Nashville took a 2-0 lead in the first.
With the Ducks having trouble passing, Josi made a sharp feed in front to Hartnell, who flicked it into the net. And with 49 seconds left in the period, Josi skated unmarked into the middle inside the blue line and sent a wrist shot past Gibson.
Predators: Move up the freeway to play the Kings in Los Angeles on Saturday.
Ducks: Head north to face the Sharks in San Jose on Saturday.
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