ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Filip Forsberg had a goal and two assists in his 600th career game, and Colton Sissons added a goal and an assist in the Nashville Predators' 6-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.
Yakov Trenin, Thomas Novak, Roman Josi and Nino Niederreiter also scored in the Predators' third win in 11 games. Juuse Saros made 26 saves as Nashville opened a quick two-game West Coast road trip by snapping a two-game skid.
“We're almost halfway through the season, and I don't think we've played our best hockey yet, but this is a step in the right direction,” said Forsberg, who produced his sixth multi-point performance in 21 career games against Anaheim. “Our offensive zone work was good, especially in the second period. There's been something missing there this season, so it was good to get that going.”
After his three-point performance in Orange County, Forsberg is just two points shy of becoming the third player in Predators history to score 500 points. His goal on the doorstep off a defensive misplay put the Predators up 3-1 in the second period, blowing open a previously tight game with his 11th goal of the season.
Sam Carrick scored and John Gibson stopped 37 shots in another dismal effort by the Ducks, who have lost four of five.
Anaheim dropped to 1-2-1 on its franchise-record, 10-game homestand, and the beleaguered club finished the 2022 calendar year with a dismal record of 24-51-11.
“It's no secret that we're in a rebuild,” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said. “We're trying to develop players on the fly. We're doing our best to compete every night, and ... when you are a team like that, you can't make mistakes, and you certainly cannot do things by yourself. We can't have guys being single contractors. You need your teammates, and you have to play the system so we can have some success. That's where it got away from us tonight.”
Sissons put the Predators ahead in the first period when he was left unmarked in the right circle and whistled a wrist shot past Gibson for his fifth goal in 17 career regular-season games against Anaheim.
“We made it hard on them,” Sissons said. “They could barely catch their breath for a while there while we rolled (lines) on them.”
Sissons has been an unlikely offensive threat against the Ducks for most of his career. The depth-line grinder with just one 10-goal season in his decade in Nashville had the greatest game of his NHL life against the Ducks, posting a hat trick in the Preds' clinching Game 6 victory in the 2017 Western Conference finals.
Carrick got credit for evening it early in the second period when Urho Vaakanainen's shot into traffic ricocheted sharply off Carrick's hip, resulting in only his second goal of the season.
But Nashville reclaimed the lead when Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler's giveaway set up a quick shot by Trenin for a goal in his second straight game.
“Nashville has an excellent team,” Eakins said. “I'm not sure their record shows exactly what they have there. ... The one thing I do think Nashville does very well is they play with each other. They play a very good team game, and every shift is almost the same.”
Novak got his second goal of the season — the third of his NHL career — early in the third period. Josi then scored on a long shot during a power play, and Niederreiter tacked on his 12th goal with 13 seconds to play.
Predators: At Vegas on Saturday.
Ducks: Host Philadelphia on Monday.
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Greg Beacham, The Associated Press