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Fasth proves unbeatable on NHL debut

Ducks prevail over Predators with shootout strike

  • AP
  • Published: 13:15 January 27, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AFP
  • Goaltender Viktor Fasth #30 of the Anaheim Ducks makes a save on the penalty shot by David Legwand #11 of the Nashville Predators in shootout overtime during the NHL game at Honda Center on January 26, 2013 in Anaheim, California. Fasth's save clinched the win in shootout overtime. The Ducks defeated the Predators 3-2 in shootout overtime.

Anaheim, California: Viktor Fasth made 19 saves and stopped all three Nashville shootout attempts to win his NHL debut, and Corey Perry scored the only shootout goal in the Anaheim Ducks’ 3-2 victory over the Predators on Saturday night.

Fasth, the Ducks’ new 30-year-old backup goalie from Sweden, capped his solid debut performance by deftly gloving his deflection of David Legwand’s final shootout attempt out of midair.

Daniel Winnik and Bobby Ryan scored for the Ducks, who never led until the shootout in their third victory in four games to start the season.

Pekka Rinne made 20 saves for Nashville, but the Vezina Trophy finalist dropped to 0-1-3 this season when former 50-goal scorer Perry beat him to the glove side on Anaheim’s second shootout attempt.

Legwand and Winnik traded goals 1:03 apart midway through the third period, with Winnik becoming the first Anaheim player to score five goals in the first four games of a season with his tying tip-in.

Nashville goal-scorer Patric Hornqvist left the ice limping badly midway through the third period after getting tangled up with Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf while both players pursued a puck in the corner. Hornqvist didn’t return.

Brandon Yip scored an early goal for Nashville, who had won six straight over Anaheim dating to the clubs’ 2011 first-round playoff meeting and 12 of 15 overall.

After getting routed 5-0 by Vancouver in their home opener on Friday night, the Ducks restored much of the good feelings from their two season-opening victories on the road, but only after a rough start against Nashville. Ryan’s first goal of the season ended 99 straight minutes of scoreless hockey at Honda Centre for the home team, and Fasth kept the Ducks in it during an eventful third period and overtime.

Nashville took the lead when Legwand ended up alone in the slot with the puck after Fasth gave up a long rebound of Kevin Klein’s shot. Winnik evened it moments later when he reached around defenseman Hal Gill and nimbly tipped Perry’s pass over Rinne’s outstretched pad.

The goal was the fifth in four improbable games for Winnik, the journeyman forward who joined Anaheim in the offseason. Winnik has never scored more than 11 goals in any of his five NHL seasons.

After starter Jonas Hiller set a club record and led the NHL with 73 starts in the Ducks’ crease last season, Anaheim won the offseason competition for Fasth with a $1 million (Dh3.678 million), one-way contract. Fasth was named the Swedish Elite League’s top goaltender in each of the past two seasons with AIK Stockholm, the first goalie to win back-to-back Honken Trophies since New York Rangers star Henrik Lundqvist.

Fasth gave up a goal on the second NHL shot he faced, but only after stopping the first shot in a 2-on-1 set up when a linesman accidentally blocked a Ducks defenseman’s path to a loose puck. Yip followed up for his first goal of the season, and the Ducks struggled to match it, with the home crowd booing them during a particularly feckless power play.

Anaheim showed more jump in the second period, but wasn’t rewarded until Teemu Selanne jarred the puck loose in the corner and got it to Cam Fowler, whose shot from the point was expertly redirected by both Selanne and Ryan, the dependable 30-goal scorer who ripped the Anaheim organisation last summer during another offseason of trade rumours.

Results

Saturday’s Games

San Jose 4 Colorado 0

Chicago 3 Columbus 2

N.Y. Rangers 5 Toronto 2

Philadelphia 7 Florida 1

St. Louis 4 Dallas 3

Los Angeles 4 Phoenix 2

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