Anaheim, CA – Kyle Palmieri posted his first career hat trick on Wednesday, as the Anaheim Ducks earned their seventh straight home victory with a 5-1 rout of the Nashville Predators at Honda Center.
Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf assisted on all three of Palmieri's goals, while Nick Bonino and Saku Koivu each scored once for the Ducks, who finished February with 11 wins to match a franchise record for victories in a given month.
"It was a pretty awesome feeling," Palmieri said of his hat trick. "It was very nice of Perry to assist on all three of them. I think our line played well tonight and I was lucky enough to get the bounces in the right areas. It was an awesome time."
Rookie netminder Viktor Fasth suffered the first setback of his NHL career in a 5-2 loss in Los Angeles on Monday, but bounced back by stopping 20-of-21 shots in Wednesday's win.
Craig Smith scored the lone Nashville goal, while Pekka Rinne allowed all five goals on 21 shots before being pulled to start the third period.
"We didn't put pressure on the other team at all," Smith said. "We made it easy for them."
Chris Mason saved all seven shots he faced in relief, but it wasn't enough, as the Predators lost for the fifth time in their last seven games.
The Ducks erupted for three goals in the first period, with two coming just 61 seconds apart early in the frame.
Bonino started the outburst at the 2:48 mark when Rinne misplayed a puck behind the net and Emerson Etem came up with the steal before feeding Bonino in front to make it 1-0.
Then, just over a minute later, Palmieri took a feed on the left wing and held off a defender before beating Rinne on the forehand for a 2-0 lead at 3:49.
Palmieri added his second tally with just over three minutes left in the first when he made his way to the front of the net and took a feed from Perry below the goal line before one-timing the puck past a sprawling Rinne to cap the three-goal first frame at the 16:57 mark.
The Anaheim winger finished his natural hat trick early in the second, as Perry one-touched a pass from the low left side to a cutting Palmieri, who punched a one-timer past Rinne from the low right side to make it 4-0 at the 1:07 mark of the second.
Smith's one-timer at the 9:27 mark trimmed Nashville's deficit to three, but with the Ducks on a power play late in the stanza, Koivu pounded home a rebound with 40 seconds left to restore Anaheim's four-goal lead heading into the third.
Fasth kept the margin at four by turning away all four shots he faced in the final frame.
Anaheim improved to 7-1-0 at home this season, making it the best home start in franchise history ... The Ducks have taken all three games against Nashville to sweep the season series for the first time since 1999-00 ... Palmieri's hat trick was the 40th in Ducks club history ... Anaheim went 2- for-3 on the power play, while Nashville failed on both of its chances with the man advantage.