Capitals

Viktor Fasth wins NHL debut, Ducks beat Preds 3-2

201301262316838157790-p2.jpeg

Viktor Fasth wins NHL debut, Ducks beat Preds 3-2

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Viktor Fasth made 19 saves and stopped all three Nashville shootout attempts to win his NHL debut, and Corey Perry scored the only shootout goal in the Anaheim Ducks' 3-2 victory over the Predators on Saturday night.

Fasth, the Ducks' new 30-year-old backup goalie from Sweden, capped his solid debut performance by deftly gloving his deflection of David Legwand's final shootout attempt out of midair.

Daniel Winnik and Bobby Ryan scored for the Ducks, who never led until the shootout in their third victory in four games to start the season.

Pekka Rinne made 20 saves for Nashville, but the Vezina Trophy finalist dropped to 0-1-3 this season when former 50-goal scorer Perry beat him to the glove side on Anaheim's second shootout attempt.

Legwand and Winnik traded goals 1:03 apart midway through the third period, with Winnik becoming the first Anaheim player to score five goals in the first four games of a season with his tying tip-in.

Nashville goal-scorer Patric Hornqvist left the ice limping badly midway through the third period after getting tangled up with Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf while both players pursued a puck in the corner. Hornqvist didn't return.

Brandon Yip scored an early goal for Nashville, which had won six straight over Anaheim dating to the clubs' 2011 first-round playoff meeting and 12 of 15 overall.

After getting routed 5-0 by Vancouver in their home opener Friday night, the Ducks restored much of the good feelings from their two season-opening victories on the road, but only after a rough start against Nashville. Ryan's first goal of the season ended 99 straight minutes of scoreless hockey at Honda Center for the home team, and Fasth kept the Ducks in it during an eventful third period and overtime.

Nashville took the lead when Legwand ended up alone in the slot with the puck after Fasth gave up a long rebound of Kevin Klein's shot. Winnik evened it moments later when he reached around defenseman Hal Gill and nimbly tipped Perry's pass over Rinne's outstretched pad.

The goal was the fifth in four improbable games for Winnik, the journeyman forward who joined Anaheim in the offseason. Winnik has never scored more than 11 goals in any of his five NHL seasons.

After starter Jonas Hiller set a club record and led the NHL with 73 starts in the Ducks' crease last season, Anaheim won the offseason competition for Fasth with a $1 million, one-way contract. Fasth was named the Swedish Elite League's top goaltender in each of the past two seasons with AIK Stockholm, the first goalie to win back-to-back Honken Trophies since New York Rangers star Henrik Lundqvist.

Fasth gave up a goal on the second NHL shot he faced, but only after stopping the first shot in a 2-on-1 set up when a linesman accidentally blocked a Ducks defenseman's path to a loose puck. Yip followed up for his first goal of the season, and the Ducks struggled to match it, with the home crowd booing them during a particularly feckless power play.

Anaheim showed more jump in the second period, but wasn't rewarded until Teemu Selanne jarred the puck loose in the corner and got it to Cam Fowler, whose shot from the point was expertly redirected by both Selanne and Ryan, the dependable 30-goal scorer who ripped the Anaheim organization last summer during another offseason of trade rumors.

NOTES: The Ducks played back-to-back home games just six times in franchise history before this season. ... The Ducks scratched young F Devante Smith-Pelly and inserted rugged F Brad Staubitz for his Anaheim debut. ... Nashville D Jonathon Blum, the Orange County native who played well for the Predators during their playoff series win over his hometown Ducks in 2011, was a scratch for the fifth straight game

Quick Links

Term, not money, was the main sticking point in Brian MacLellan's negotiations with Barry Trotz

barry_trotz.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Term, not money, was the main sticking point in Brian MacLellan's negotiations with Barry Trotz

Despite winning a Stanley Cup less than two weeks ago, the Capitals found themselves without a head coach on Monday with the stunning news of Barry Trotz’s resignation.

At Wednesday’s breakdown day, Trotz told the media he wanted to be back in Washington. General manager Brian MacLellan said he wanted Trotz back. But both alluded to possible issues that had to be sorted out in any contract negotiations.

Obviously, those issues were not resolved.

“[Trotz’s] representative wants to take advantage of Barry’s experience and Stanley Cup win and is trying to negotiate a deal that compensates him as one of the better coaches in the league, a top four or five coach,” MacLellan said in a press conference with the media on Monday. “He’s looking for that kind of contract.”

But if you think money was the main sticking point between the two sides, that’s not the case. Money was a factor, but there was a bigger factor that held up negotiations, according to MacLellan.

“I think the five-year term is probably a sticking point,” he said. “We have a coach that's been here four years. You do another five, that's nine years. There's not many coaches that have that lasting ability. It's a long time and it's a lot of money to be committing to that, to a coach.”

Of the head coaches currently employed in the NHL, only Joel Quenneville has been the head coach of his current team, the Chicago Blackhawks, for over nine years.

Trotz’s contract included a clause that would extend his deal a further two years if the team won the Stanley Cup. While the team was comfortable with that clause and did engage in talks on renegotiating the contract after the season, they were not willing to sign him to a deal as expensive or, more critically, for as long as Trotz sought.

“I don’t think all teams pay that type of money and years," MacLellan said. "Certain teams are open to it and the rest of the league isn’t.”

MORE CAPITALS COVERAGE:

Quick Links

Nats rookie Juan Soto makes second MLB debut, retroactively hits HR on first-ever MLB at-bat

juan-soto-nats-usat.jpg
USA Today Sports

Nats rookie Juan Soto makes second MLB debut, retroactively hits HR on first-ever MLB at-bat

The Washington Nationals hosted the New York Yankees to finish a once-suspended game, tied at 3-3 in the sixth inning. Though it seemed like just a makeup, it was anything but for rookie Juan Soto.

It’s true that Soto struck out as a pinch hitter in his first-ever game on May 20. Since then, the 19-year-old has caught fire, batting .312 with five home runs and 12 RBI in 23 games this season.

But the makeup of the suspended game took place on May 15, five days before Soto was called up from Double-A to give the Nats an extra bat. Soto would make his major league debut once again.

Though it’s uncommon for a player to compete in a game prior to his major-league debut, it’s been done before. Barry Bonds hit a go-ahead single in a suspended game that dated a month before his debut. Closer Jeff Reardon threw a scoreless inning and picked up a win in a suspended game nearly two months before his debut, as well.              

After Anthony Rendon hit an opposite-field single in the bottom of the sixth, Soto pinch hit for Matt Adams who has missed the previous two games with a hand injury.                                                  

And Soto, with a chance to change his first career at-bat from a pinch-hit strikeout to anything but, did just that. He turned on a fastball and sent a rocket to right field. Aaron Judge took a few steps before looking up toward the bleachers. The ball landed in the second deck.

Talk about a first career at-bat. A no-doubt, two-run shot to give the Nationals the lead in a game that took place before his first major-league debut.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: