for this game

Ellis shines as Predators blank Wild

Feb 7, 2009 - 5:50 AM
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- Dan Ellis had his starting job taken away by rookie Pekka Rinne. But in his first start in seven contests, Ellis stole a win for the Nashville Predators.

Ellis made 22 saves and captain Jason Arnott scored in the second period as the Predators posted a 2-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Friday.

David Legwand also tallied for Nashville, which has won four in a row and five of its last six.

The 28-year-old Ellis turned aside four shots in the first period, six in the second and 14 in the third to notch his third shutout of the season and ninth career. A native of Orangeville, Ontario, Ellis helped the Predators improve to 11-15-2 on the road.

"It's nice to be able to play again," Ellis said. "I haven't played a full game in over a month. So it's nice to be able to compete and get an opportunity. That's the biggest thing. You play the sport to play in games, and I was just a practice target for a while."

Rinne, who started for the Rookies in the YoungStars Game as part of the All-Star Weekend festivities in Montreal last month, has been brilliant of late. The 26-year-old Finn had been in net for each of the Predators' previous three wins, allowing a total of four goals.

While Rinne has thrived, Ellis has accepted his new role.

"I figured I really didn't have anything to lose because I already lost my spot," Ellis said. "What else have you got to lose? So I figured, just go out there and enjoy it. Like I said, I haven't played a full game in a long time, and that's what you really enjoy.

"That's what my goal was tonight, to go out and have fun and relax and not worry about the outcome."

Nashville coach Barry Trotz turned to Ellis in this contest, and it turned out to be the right decision.

"He responded really good," Trotz said. "That's a fantastic response to not playing for a while. He was pushing the envelope there, doing a really good job."

Ellis, who started for just the third time in 14 games, improved to 11-16-3 this season. He received all the support he needed when Arnott opened the scoring with 7:45 left in the second period by firing a wrist shot from the slot past All-Star goaltender Niklas Backstrom for his 19th tally.

"Terrible, just terrible," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said of his team's effort. "It's not acceptable, and it's not because we didn't work."

Legwand doubled the advantage 62 seconds into the third, unleashing a slap shot from the left faceoff circle that sailed by Backstrom. The goal secured Nashville's first four-game winning streak since February 24-March 3, 2007.

"Goals are tough to come by this time of year," Legwand said. "Shutting a team like that down to nine shots on goal in two periods is a huge key. We stuck with it and kind of cluttered them up here a little bit tonight and mucked it out."

Minnesota, which is tied with the San Jose Sharks with a league-low 116 goals allowed this season, lost for the second time in four games at home.

"Outstanding. They were incredible," Ellis said of his defense. "The first two periods, they get pretty much nothing. Our penalty kill was outstanding. They kept everything to the outside.

"The opportunities that Minnesota did have, we put enough pressure on them so that they couldn't get shots off. The defense was awesome tonight."

Despite having to protect a slim lead, Ellis felt extremely comfortable.

"It doesn't matter," Ellis said. "They win a lot of tight games on the other side, too. We have been fortunate. Right now, they have only scored one even-strength goal on us in three games.

"So as long as we can hold the fort in terms of keeping their power play off the board, then I think it gives us a better chance to win."

Backstrom stopped 24 shots for the Wild, whose two-game winning streak was halted.

"For sure, every night is an opportunity," Backstrom said. "Especially at home, we can't play a poor game. We're going to have a tough schedule in front of us, so we have to be ready now.

"We have a short homestand, so we have to show up every night and play the best hockey we can."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 1 1 2
    MINNESOTA 0 0 0 0 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NAS - JASON ARNOTT 19 (JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT) 12:15
    3RD PRD: NAS - DAVID LEGWAND 12 (ANTTI PIHLSTROM) 1:02
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: NAS - 0 OF 3, MIN - 0 OF 4.
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    ---

    Feb 6 10:26 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 2
    MINNESOTA 0
    3RD PRD: NAS - DAVID LEGWAND 12 (UNASSISTED) 1:02

    Predators 2, Wild 0  3rd - 18:58Feb 6 9:55 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 1 1
    MINNESOTA 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NAS - JASON ARNOTT 19 (JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT) 12:15
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NAS 5 15 20
    MIN 4 6 10
    GOALIES: NAS - DAN ELLIS


    Feb 6 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 1
    MINNESOTA 0
    2ND PRD: NAS - JASON ARNOTT 19 (JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT) 12:15

    Predators 1, Wild 0  2nd - 7:45Feb 6 9:21 PM
  • 31
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 31 roots

    Predators 0, Wild 0  2nd - 7:50Feb 6 9:19 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 0
    MINNESOTA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NAS 5 5
    MIN 4 4
    GOALIES: NAS - DAN ELLIS
    MIN - NIKLAS BACKSTROM

    Feb 6 8:40 PM