ANAHEIM — The Nashville Predators knew where to find the soft underbelly of the Ducks.
They poked and prodded third-string goalie Dan Ellis for the first 35 minutes of the opening game of the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal Wednesday night, then broke through with three goals in a six-minute span to put the finishing touches on a 4-1 victory at Honda Center.
The fourth goal ended the night for Ellis, who could manage only 20 saves on 24 shots on goal. Ray Emery, lower-body injury and all, took his place for the final 19 minutes but by then there was little he could offer. Ellis and Emery joined the team after Jonas Hiller came down with vertigo symptoms following his first All-Star appearance in late January.
On the other end of the ice, Nashville demonstrated the value of strong goalkeeping, as Pekka Rinne was better than advertised, stopping 27 shots for his third career playoff victory.
Teemu Selanne scored with a two-man advantage with 8:36 remaining in the game to prevent the Ducks first postseason shutout since Game 1 of the 2008 Western Conference quarterfinals against Dallas.
More to come from the locker room.