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Predators hold off Ducks, 4-1

Patric Hornqvist scored in his third straight game, Pekka Rinne made 40 saves and the Nashville Predators beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 on Wednesday night.

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 won three straight — all with Rinne in net — after a five-game skid.

Saku Koivu scored with 8:14 to play for the Ducks, whose three-game winning streak ended. Anaheim had won four straight at home since Dec. 5, but couldn't crack Nashville's defense, which has allowed a Western Conference-low 94 goals.

Kostitsyn and Shea Weber both scored into an empty net as the Predators opened a three-game California trip.

Jonas Hiller stopped 20 shots for Anaheim in the third game of a six-game homestand, but the Ducks were punchless on offense just a few hours after learning they'll be without captain Ryan Getzlaf for likely another month. The high-scoring center has broken bones in his face after getting hit with a puck Dec. 28.

Bobby Ryan has taken over Getzlaf's spot in the middle of the Ducks' top line with Corey Perry. Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle tried Matt Beleskey and newcomer Maxim Lapierre with his remaining stars, but neither generated any offense.

Lapierre made his debut with the Ducks, who acquired him in a trade with Montreal last week. The Canadian center wasn't able to play until getting a U.S. work visa, which he didn't need while playing for the Canadiens.

The Predators scored first when Smithson jabbed a loose puck past Hiller during a scramble in the crease 5:10 into the first period, with the goal upheld after a lengthy video review. The goal was just the fourth of the season for the defense-minded forward, ending a nine-game drought.

Nashville went up 2-0 early in the second period when an Anaheim defensive mix-up left Kostitsyn totally unchecked in a faceoff circle. Hornqvist deflected home a pass while easily fending off a defender near the crease.

Anaheim outshot the Predators 28-16 in the first two periods, and Beleskey and Lubomir Visnosky both rang pucks off the post. The Ducks still couldn't beat Rinne until Dan Sexton made a sharp pass from the corner to Koivu, who fired home his 11th goal.

NOTES: Nashville C Cal O'Reilly sat out for the first time this season after breaking his leg. ... The Ducks recalled Sexton for the fifth time this season to fill in for Jason Blake, who sat out with a shoulder injury. ... The Ducks acquired minor-league defenseman Nate Guenin from Columbus in a trade for C Trevor Smith, the leading scorer for Anaheim's AHL affiliate in Syracuse. ... Just 12,216 turned up at Honda Center, the Ducks' smallest crowd of the season.