Through six games of the first-round series against the Nashville Predators, Anaheim Ducks sniper Corey Perry hasn’t found the back of the net once.
Perry, 30, paced the Ducks with 34 goals in the regular season, and the former Rocket Richard winner hasn’t made a habit of being held off of the score sheet and out of the goal column throughout his career. Perry’s six-game goalless drought hasn’t come due to a lack of trying, though. His 14 shots on goal are the second-most among all Ducks forwards, and Perry has gotten pucks on goal from all over the ice. Monday night, that meant a point-blank opportunity to break his personal goose-egg for the series.
The only thing standing between Perry and his first goal of the series, though, was Predators netminder Pekka Rinne. And, just as he has done all series, Rinne turned aside Perry, continuing to frustrate the sniper in a series that has been much closer than anyone could have expected:
Rinne’s save was one of 26 stops he made in order to help Nashville force the franchise’s first Game 7, but it’s almost come to be expected this series that if the puck ends up on the stick of Perry or fellow Ducks star Ryan Getzlaf, Rinne will be there to turn the two Anaheim stars away.
Through six games, the Ducks are shooting at a nearly 10.5 percent clip, but the duo of Perry and Getzlaf — who were the most likely combination to power Anaheim through the first round — have shot a mere 7.7 percent in the first round. Getzlaf has found the back of the net twice on 16 attempts on net, while Perry hasn’t once beaten Rinne on 14 shots. That’s not to say neither has found their way onto the score sheet, though, as Getzlaf leads the Ducks with five points and Perry is tied for second with four points, but keeping the duo from taking over a game by filling the net is a best-case scenario for Nashville.
If Rinne can continue to almost singlehandedly shut down Perry and Getzlaf in Game 7, the Predators will have a good chance at shocking the league and downing the Pacific Division champion Ducks in the first round.