Pekka Rinne’s 40 saves help Preds stifle Ducks

When Shea Weber fired the puck out of the corner near Nashville’s net in the waning seconds, it ricocheted perfectly off the boards and rattled 190 feet down the ice into Anaheim’s net.

That hole-in-one better suited to a miniature golf course was an ill-fitting finish for the Predators, who earned a key road win with workmanlike defense and impressively uneventful goaltending from Pekka Rinne.

Patric Hornqvist scored in his third straight game, Rinne made 40 saves and the Predators beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 on Wednesday night, earning their third straight win in front of their stellar Finnish goalie.

Hornqvist and Sergei Kostitsyn each had a goal and an assist for the Predators, who weathered Anaheim’s 41-24 shot advantage with several big saves by Rinne before scoring two empty-net goals in the final minute.

Jerred Smithson scored the first goal for Nashville, which has rebounded decisively from a five-game skid — even if its defense-first style doesn’t generate many highlights.

“We played really well defensively, which is great to see at the start of a road trip,” Rinne said. “We know it’s going to be a really tough road trip out here, but we stuck together defensively. They got a lot of shots, but we didn’t give them so many good chances. We just have a strong defensive core. That’s our backbone.”

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