Nashville Predators vs. Anaheim Ducks Pick & Prediction JANUARY 9th 2024

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After failing to take advantage of one of their longest homestands in franchise history, the Anaheim Ducks will kick off a difficult six-game road trip beginning Tuesday night against the Nashville Predators.

The Ducks went 1-6-1 on the recently concluded homestand, which tied for the second-longest in team history. They were held to two goals or fewer in those seven losses, dropping them to 0-21-1 this season when failing to score at least three goals.

The most recent setback came Sunday evening, when Anaheim scored 20 seconds into the game against the Detroit Red Wings, but ultimately lost 3-2.

“We’ve got to start finding ways to put some victories together here,” Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler said. “There was a lot of emphasis on (Sunday’s) game, especially going out on a hard road trip here. So, unfortunately, we didn’t get the job done, but it’s just frustration. I’d say that’s probably the main word for our group right now.”

Trevor Zegras scored both goals in the loss to the Red Wings and he continues to be the team’s most effective playmaker. Zegras missed all of training camp while his representatives negotiated a new contract and then sat out 20 games with a lower-body injury.

He has three goals and two assists with a minus-1 rating since returning for the final seven games of the homestand.

“I always tell you guys that he’s always going to give you offense, and I’m always motivating him to be focused defensively as well,” Ducks coach Greg Cronin said. “He’s been good since he’s been back.”

Fowler had the primary assist on Zegras’ second goal against Detroit, moving him into a tie with Steve Rucchin for the fifth-most points in franchise history (432).

“I think I’ve just been around a long time,” Fowler said. “It’s nice to be mentioned with some of those great players. I’ve been fortunate to be here as long as I have. It’s an honor to be on one team for 13 years, whatever it’s been. I’m very thankful for that.”

The Predators have won three of four following their 4-3 road win against the Dallas Stars on Saturday.

Filip Forsberg scored two goals, giving him three in the past two games and 21 on the season.

Forsberg was named to the second NHL All-Star Game of his career last week and his teammates remain in awe of his skillset.

“I’ve been playing with him for 10 or 11 years, but some of the things he does, it’s unbelievable,” Nashville defenseman Roman Josi said. “It’s well-deserved that he got into the All-Star Game. It’s going to be a lot of fun for him and I think he’s going to put on a show.”

Forsberg continues to operate on the same line as Gustav Nyquist, who had a goal and an assist against Dallas to extend his point streak to eight games (six goals, six assists).

“He does everything really well,” Forsberg said of Nyquist. “He’s really smart. He’s a great skater, great with the puck. You see the plays he’s making out there, and obviously, when he gets opportunities, he can finish as well.”

–Field Level Media

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