for this game

Wirtanen, Miller score first NHL goals to lead Ducks past Predators

Oct 18, 2007 - 6:10 AM
By Craig Shultz PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- Petteri Wirtanen and Drew Miller each scored his first career goal Wednesday to lead the Anaheim Ducks to a 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators.

Wirtanen, a center from Finland, was playing in his first NHL game after being recalled from Portland of the American Hockey League on Monday. He was summoned after Todd Bertuzzi was placed on injured reserve with a concussion.

Wirtanen took a pass from tough guy George Parros and beat goaltender Chris Mason to the short side 4:47 into the third period to give the Ducks a 2-1 lead.

"The puck was bouncing there and I just put it on top of the (defenseman's) stick," Wirtanen said. "My first thought was to shoot it right away, but it was still bouncing, so I had to wait and go wide and try to squeeze it in on the short side."

"He had a bouncing puck and then he faked a slap shot and went out and changed the angle," Mason said. "I mean, it was a great play. It was kind of lucky it got on his stick, but when it did get on his stick, he made a good play. He just slid it right in there. It looked like it was a pretty skilled move."

Miller, who made his debut during last season's playoffs, got a pass after a scrum along the boards and skated alone up the middle, putting the puck between Mason's pads to make it 3-1 just under eight minutes later.

Miller, 23, the younger brother of Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller, said it was nice to get his first goal out of the way.

"I hit the blue line in our zone and threw it past their (defenseman) and just had a breakaway," Miller said. "I tried to get some speed going and I just went five-hole. He showed me it and I took it."

Wirtanen, 21, said he tried to treat the game like any other.

"Waking up this morning, I just tried to take this as a normal game, but of course you're a little bit nervous and the first couple of shifts, you're just trying to get your legs going," Wirtanen said. "The chance came and I just put in. It felt awesome."

Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle thinks it's important for the team to get contributions from the young players.

"I think it's nice to see young players score their first goal," he said. "It's a tribute to the scouting staff and our management that were able to find these young players to come in and make a contribution. The contribution was greater tonight than what would be normally expected of them."

Jean-Sebastien Giguere continued his mastery of the Predators to record his first win of the season. Playing just his second game since returning from offseason hernia surgery, Giguere stopped 28 shots in improving to 11-4-1 in his last 16 starts against Nashville.

"It's a team that shoots the puck a lot," Giguere said of Nashville. "There's always action against them. They're a pretty skilled group and you always have to be on your toes when you play against them. I kind of like it."

Carlyle praised the play of Giguere.

"He made some quality stops later in the hockey game that provided us with an opportunity to get the go-ahead goal," Carlyle said. "Those are the kind of things that you rely on your goalie for, and he delivered. He provided us with the goaltending that was required to win the hockey game."

Anaheim took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Corey Perry in the waning seconds of the first period. Perry took the puck behind the net, skated in front to Mason's right and flipped a wrist shot over the goalie's glove.

Nashville tied it 2:24 into the third on a goal by defenseman Ryan Suter.

David Legwand passed the puck from the left wing boards to Alexander Radulov, who was behind the net. Radulov then fed Suter, who fired a shot from the slot that beat Giguere to the glove side.

"After they scored that goal, we just kept playing our game and kept pushing," Giguere said. "We didn't panic or put our head down. I think that's a pretty positive sign for us."

"We were working hard and we couldn't get anything going," Suter said. "Some nights that happens. Tonight, we worked hard and they beat us."

Both teams had opportunities in the scoreless second period.

Miller was stopped twice about five minutes in, having his initial shot blocked before sending a backhander wide past an empty corner of the net. Teammate Travis Moen then clanked a shot off the crossbar at 13:30.

"I don't know if I got a little bit too excited," Miller said of his chance. "The puck was kind of rolling away from me and I forced it too fast."

The Predators had their best opportunity at 11:54, when Giguere was behind the net as the puck took an odd bounce out to Legwand on the right side. Giguere was able to scramble back and make a sprawling save, however.

"I made the bounce, it was my fault," Giguere said. "He kind of missed the puck when he went to deke me and I just got lucky."

The game marked the eighth time in the last nine meetings of this series that the home team has won. The Ducks improved to 14-1-2 all-time against the Predators at the Honda Center.

Nashville has now lost four straight, something it didn't do all of last season.

"There was a lot more positive in our play than there has been our last two games," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "You look at it and they buried their chances and we didn't bury ours.

"We've got to work through this and there were a lot of positives. We had a real good work ethic, we had some chances, our decision-making was much better, our support of the puck was much better, forecheck was much better. But we didn't bury our chances." Mason was the league's third star of the week for October 3-7 but has struggled in the last four games.

"The first two games we played two good teams, we played really well. I think we got ahead of ourselves, thought it was going to be a little easier than it really was," Mason said. "We got away from our system and we played as individuals. Myself, I wasn't playing up to nearly the level that I should be for our team to be successful.

"We dug ourselves a hole now. We had a great start and we've got to get back to playing a whole 60 (minutes). Tonight, I thought we played the first two good and we got the tying goal, and then it was downhill from there."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 0 1 1
    ANAHEIM 1 0 2 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ANA - COREY PERRY 5 (CHRIS KUNITZ, RYAN GETZLAF) 19:40
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: NAS - RYAN SUTER 1 (ALEXANDER RADULOV, DAVID LEGWAND) 2:24
    ANA - PETTERI WIRTANEN 1 (GEORGE PARROS, KENT HUSKINS) 4:47
    ANA - DREW MILLER 1

    Oct 18 12:30 AM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 1
    ANAHEIM 3
    3RD PRD: ANA - DREW MILLER 1 (ANDY MCDONALD, JOE DIPENTA) 12:23

    Predators vs. DucksOct 18 12:14 AM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 1
    ANAHEIM 2
    3RD PRD: ANA - PETTERI WIRTANEN 1 (GEORGE PARROS) 4:47

    Predators vs. DucksOct 18 12:00 AM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 1
    ANAHEIM 1
    3RD PRD: NAS - RYAN SUTER 1 (ALEXANDER RADULOV, DAVID LEGWAND) 2:24

    Predators vs. DucksOct 17 11:55 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 0 0
    ANAHEIM 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ANA - COREY PERRY 5 (CHRIS KUNITZ, RYAN GETZLAF) 19:40
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NAS 11 10 21
    ANA 9 11 20
    GOALIES: NAS - CHRI

    Oct 17 11:33 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 0
    ANAHEIM 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ANA - COREY PERRY 5 (CHRIS KUNITZ, RYAN GETZLAF) 19:40
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NAS 11 11
    ANA 9 9
    GOALIES: NAS - CHRIS MASON
    ANA -

    Oct 17 10:41 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 0
    ANAHEIM 1
    1ST PRD: ANA - COREY PERRY 5 (CHRIS KUNITZ, RYAN GETZLAF) 19:40

    Predators vs. DucksOct 17 10:41 PM
  • 10
    roots
    Override Added 5 roots

    Predators vs. DucksOct 17 9:36 PM
  • 5
    roots
    six4three Added 5 roots

    Predators vs. DucksOct 13 9:20 PM