- Associated Press - Sunday, October 3, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) - Joel Ward scored two goals, Cal O’Reilly added a goal and an assist, and Pekka Rinne made 22 saves for the Nashville Predators, who beat the Washington Capitals 3-0 on Sunday in the final preseason game for both teams.

Ward scored his goals in the third period to help Nashville pull away late. Steve Sullivan helped with two assists for the Predators (4-2).

Nashville will open the regular season Saturday at home against Anaheim. The Capitals begin on Friday night in Atlanta.

Washington (5-1) was trying for its first perfect preseason, but couldn’t get its offense going. Nashville held a 28-22 shots advantage.

The Predators took a 1-0 lead with 8:02 left in the second period when O’Reilly controlled a loose puck in front and flipped a shot past goalie Dany Sabourin.

Nashville stepped up the pressure in the third period, outshooting Washington 12-7 and creating good scoring chances.

Ward made it 2-0 on a short-handed goal with 12:18 remaining after the puck hopped over the stick of Capitals defenseman Mike Green at the right point.

Ward quickly gained control and scored on a breakaway. He made it 3-0 with 7:27 left by beating Sabourin with a quick shot from in front.

Sabourin came on with 9:57 left in the second period after Michal Neuvirth stopped all 13 shots he faced. Washington coach Bruce Boudreau told fans on Saturday that Neuvrith would start the opener, but later added he could change his mind.

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