Sullivan scores PP goal; Predators down Ducks 4-1

Steve Sullivan scored a power-play goal and had an assist in the second period, and the Nashville Predators opened the season by beating the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 on Saturday night.

Marcel Goc, Patric Hornqvist and David Legwand added goals for Nashville. Shea Weber, chosen as Nashville captain in July, also had two assists as the Predators won their opener for the fifth time in seven season.

Saku Koivu scored the first goal of the season for the Ducks, who have lost the first two games of a three-game, season-opening trip.

Anaheim's Jonas Hiller, in net for Friday night's 4-0 loss at Detroit, gave up three goals to Nashville on 12 shots in the second period.

The Ducks were on the power play for 3:15, while they trailed 2-1, including 45 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage, but goalie Pekka Rinne kept Anaheim from scoring.

Rinne left early in the third period after being hit by Anaheim forward Troy Bodie and his own teammate, Francis Bouillon. Bodie was rushing toward the net when hit by Bouillon, driving both into Rinne and knocking the net off its moorings. All three came to a stop and Rinne's head hitting the boards. Anders Lindback then replaced Rinne and made his NHL debut.

The Predators planned to update Rinne's condition later Saturday night.

Nashville, who finished the preseason with three straight wins, celebrated starting the season at home with a red carpet arrival for the players and a big party in front of the arena before the puck dropped. The Predators had a sold-out crowd inside cheering them on, as well.

Nashville coach Barry Trotz had said his Predators sometimes get a bit too excited playing in front of their rowdy fans. That might be why the Predators outshot the Ducks 16-9 in the first period, but couldn't get anything past Hiller.

Goc changed that at 4:10 of the second when he beat Hiller with a wrister.

Koivu tied it with a wrister from the slot at 5:25, beating Rinne between the pads. Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter made a great save a couple minutes later for Nashville to keep it tied. With Rinne at the left post, Suter sprawled out and knocked the puck away from the open side.

Nashville drew a penalty on Sheldon Brookbank for interference at 8:07 for its third power play. The Predators, who ranked 24th in the NHL on the power play last season, finally scored their first goal with the man advantage 26 seconds later. Suter passed to Sullivan, who beat Hiller with a slap shot with Hornqvist in front of the goalie.

Hornqvist finished the second-period scoring at 16:12 when he batted a puck in the air past Hiller from the edge of the crease to make it 3-1.

Legwand made it 4-1 at 12:39 of the third, tapping back the rebound of his own missed shot over a sprawling Hiller.

NOTES: Suter played 2:12 of the 3:15 the Ducks had on consecutive power plays. Jerred Smithson played 2:22 of that for Nashville. ... The Predators are 6-2-1 in their last nine at home against Anaheim.