|Date of game: 1/4/2015
Recap: Anaheim vs. Nashville
Anaheim, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Francois Beauchemin tied the game late in regulation and Ryan Kesler won it in the shootout, as Anaheim snuck past Nashville by a 4-3 count at Honda Center.
Matt Beleskey and Corey Perry also scored for the Ducks, who improved to 2-1-0 on a four-game homestand which ends on Wednesday against the Rangers and moved four points up on Montreal, Nashville and Chicago for the most points in the league at 58.
"We're first in NHL," Beauchemin realized. "You can't really ask for more than that. Knowing that, we know we've got better hockey to play. We can be better at staying out of the box. Those are things we need to focus on. I think if we do that, we'll be successful."
Frederik Andersen came away with the victory after making 27 saves in the first 65 minutes and stopping two of three chances in the game's final segment.
Mattias Ekholm, Seth Jones and Craig Smith lit the lamp for the Predators, who were coming off a wild 7-6 overtime win in Los Angeles on Saturday.
Carter Hutton made 30 saves, but surrendered two markers to the hosts in the shootout on three opportunities.
"We've had a tough last couple minutes the last couple games, but it's nothing we can't fix and move on from," Smith said. "You can see why Anaheim's one of the best teams. They know how to play their systems well."
Anaheim threw 14 shots at Hutton in the third period, and managed to draw even with 2:17 on the clock as Beauchemin shoveled home a loose puck from the goal line to Hutton's left.
Andersen came up with the only five saves in the overtime period before stopping Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis on their free shots. After Jakob Silfverberg scored to end the second round, Smith kept the visitors alive. Kesler then won the contest on a drive from between the circles.
"Good teams know how to win those one-goal games," Kesler said. "That's what they are in playoffs. They're tight, one-goal games. If we know how to win them now, it's going to make it that much easier later."
Beleskey beat Hutton on a wrister from far below the right circle with 7:45 to play in the first.
The Preds drew even at 1:39 of the second as an Ekholm blast from the left circle caught the right post and slid across the goal line.
Perry's tip of a Rene Bourque offering through Hutton's pads put the hosts back on top at 2:52, before a Jones power-play marker made it 2-2 at 13:50.
Nashville was skating on another advantage when Smith cleaned up the rebound of an Ellis drive in front for a 3-2 game at 17:14.Game Notes
The Ducks upped their NHL-leading win total in one-goal games to 20 ...
Largely due to his clean bill of health, Beleskey leads Anaheim with 17 goals
... Mike Ribeiro assisted on all three Nashville scores and increased his
career totals to 52 points in 48 games against Anaheim.