Predators Vs. Ducks: Mike Fisher's Two Goals Boost Nashville To Convincing 4-1 Game 1 Win

For full coverage of this Predators vs. Ducks series, click here.

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Predators Vs. Ducks, Game 1: Mike Fisher Scores Twice As Nashville Swamps Anaheim, 4-1

The Anaheim Ducks are supposed to be the high-scoring, offensive bunch in this first round series, a stark contrast to the defensive powerhouse that is the Nashville Predators. This is the battle we all thought we'd see in this first round series, but in Game 1 on Wednesday night, it was really the complete opposite.

Okay, fine. It was all Nashville. 

The Preds rolled to victory on the back of two goals from Mike Fisher and single tallies from Steve Sullivan and Shea Weber to kick off the 2011 postseason and strengthen their bid to advance beyond the first round for the first time in franchise history. It's only one game, but it certainly felt like a mismatch in this first 60 minutes of the series. 

Dan Ellis started the game in goal for the Ducks, but he certainly didn't finish. After Fisher's second goal made the score 4-0 in the third period, Ellis was yanked in favor of the potentially-still-injured (?) Ray Emery. Teemu Selanne scored with about nine minutes left to ruin Pekka Rinne's shutout, but it was obviously too little too late.

The story in this one was just, simply, Nashville's all-out dominance. It was a dominating defensive performance, led by Shea Weber and Ryan Suter, a dominating goaltending performance out of Rinne (who made 27 saves) and a dominating offensive performance against a Ducks team that really looked like they couldn't hang. 

With that, the Preds ripped away the home-ice advantage that they lost to Anaheim less than a week ago. It's a huge win, and if you're a Ducks fan, you're hoping your team can find some success against this great Preds defense. It won't be easy. 

For full, continuing coverage of this series, click here. You can also follow along with our blogs: On the Forecheck covering the Predators and Anaheim Calling covering the Ducks. 

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Predators Vs. Ducks: Nashville's Steve Sullivan and Mike Fisher Gives Team 3-0 Lead After Second

In what's becoming a fairly fast paced game between the Predators and Ducks, Nashville's Steve Sullivan and Mike Fisher puts the Predators ahead 3-0 after two periods in Anaheim. 

Steve Sullivan scored the first goal in the second period for Nashville as receives a pass from just outside the blue line and blows past two Anaheim players, Francois Beauchmin and Luca Sbisa, on his way to the net. After his first shot was stopped by goaltender Dan Ellis, he collects his rebound in front of the net and scores. 

The second Nashville goal came three minutes later in the period as Patric Hornqvist dumps a quick pass off to Mike Fisher and Fisher rips a shot past Dan Ellis from inside the right faceoff dot. Fisher now has a goal and an assist in the game as he registered an assist on the Predators first goal in the first period. 

The Predators have found their offensive momentum against the Ducks in the second period as well, outshooting the Ducks 14-8 in the period. Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne has 16 saves as he continues to pitch the shutout while Anaheim goaltender Dan Ellis has allowed three goals on 22 shots thus far. 

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Predators Vs. Ducks: Shea Weber Scores To Put Nashville Up 1-0 After One

The Nashville Predators got out to an early 1-0 lead in the first period over the Anaheim Ducks and still hold the lead after the period ends. 

Shea Weber took advantage of Matt Beleskey's first of two penalties in the period as he fired a blast on the powerplay from just inside the blueline to beat Anaheim goaltender Dan Ellis. Ellis was being screened by Patric Hornqvist in front of the net and the puck may have been deflected by an Anaheim player before it got to the net. 

Matt Beleskey has been in penalty trouble for most of the first period as he took two penalties within the first ten minutes of the game. His first penalty, a cross checking penalty, led to the Shea Weber goal. His second penalty came five minutes later as he took a boarding penalty on Sergei Kostitsyn.

Both teams are even in shots thus far in the period with eight each. Nashville's Pekka Rinne has all eight saves thus far in the game while Anaheim's Dan Ellis has stopped seven of eight shots. 

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Predators Vs. Ducks, Game 1: Nashville Looks To Get Over The First Round Hump

The Nashville Predators have made the Western Conference playoffs for the sixth time in their franchise history but as of yet, they've failed to make it out of the first round. In Game one against the Anaheim Ducks, the Predators begin their quest to finally get over the first round hump. 

The Preds feel confident in this series and it all starts with goaltending, as the Anaheim Ducks have had some issues there in the last few months. They'll start Dan Ellis in the first game against the Predators. Ellis has played in 13 games for the Ducks and has a 2.39 goals against average and .917 save percentage. The Predators will have Pekka Rinne in net, a goaltender that should be under consideration for the Vezina this season.

With Rinne in net, the Predators feel that is going to be their advantage over the Ducks:

"We don't rack up six or seven goals a night," Coach Barry Trotz said. "We try to get around that three mark, and obviously goaltending is a big part of not giving them four."

For the Ducks, its going to take offense to defeat the Predators, led by Rocket Richard winner Corey Perry. Perry was the only 50 goal scorer in the league this season, but he isn't alone in the Ducks scoring department. They had three players in the top 20 in scoring: Perry third overall in points, Teemu Selanne eighth overall, and Ryan Getzlaf fourteenth overall.

While all three of those players are dangerous offensively, Selanne is still the leader of the pack among the three players:

Perry, Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf are the spotlight trio who pushed the Ducks into the Stanley Cup playoffs. Selanne claims, "They don't need any help from me." Ryan disagrees, saying, "We all pick his brain."

While the Ducks have players that the Predators are going to watch out for, they aren't very potent as a team offense. They scored 2.87 goals/game, which is only good for 12th in the regular season. The Predators as a team allowed only 2.32 goals/game in the regular season, good for 3rd in the league. 

Game time is at 10:30 p.m. and can be seen on TSN in Canada or locally in Nashville and Anaheim. For more on this series, please visit our Ducks blog, Anaheim Calling, our Predators blog, On The Forecheck, and our full coverage here at SBNation.com.

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