Jordin Tootoo returned to the Nashville Predators line up after serving a two game suspension for running Buffalo Sabres goaltender, Ryan Miller. The Ducks wished he’d had at least one more game.
Tootoo, who had a goal and an assist, got the eventual game winner in a 3-2 loss for Anaheim. The goal came at 5:25 of the third period.
“After he came to the bench I said that was a (heck) of a move,” Predators coach Barry Trotz said. “That’s how you score in the League. You take that step and he popped it in. If there’s a defender on his back, he would’ve had to cut to the front of the net, but you can’t change his game. I asked him not to change his game. Just stay on his game.”
Tootoo’s game is to be an annoying pest and get under the opposing team’s skin. It is something he excels at and the Ducks have been short circuited by Tootoo before. The game on Saturday evening was no different.
Brandon McMillan, who was recalled from Syracuse along with Kyle Palmieri, fell hook, line and sinker into Tootoo’s antics. McMillan’s retaliatory action against Tootoo landed him in the penalty. With the Ducks shorthanded, rookie Roman Josi got his first NHL goal on the ensuing power play.
Prior to that, the game was tied, with a goal for the Ducks from Andrew Gordon :38 seconds into the second period and Nick Spaling evening things up at 12:03.
Josi’s go ahead goal and Tootoo’s marker meant the Ducks had another two goal deficit to make up. Again.
Francois Beauchemin brought them within one at 13:24. Teemu Selanne got the assist, his 900th point in a Ducks uniform. 900 points in the NHL is a respectable number for any player. Selanne has a total of 1,369. With more to come, for sure.
More would not come for Anaheim.
Although the Ducks pulled Dan Ellis, who got a rare start in net against his former team, the Ducks could not capitalize on their chances and get anything else past Pekke Rinne.
The clock ran out and game over.
The Ducks now return home and have a couple days of practice before playing again on Wednesday against Phoenix.
Hopefully that will be enough time for Saku Koivu to heal up. He was out with a “lower body injury” (safe to say it is not a concussion or shoulder injury). Koivu was injured during the game against St. Louis.