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It was a significant and eventful win for the Canucks as two teams trying to buck their recent losing ways clashed in Vancouver. The Predators, owners of a two-game losing streak coming into tonight’s tilt, played a heavy but undisciplined game. The Canucks took advantage on the power play and snapped their 4 game losing streak over a team that provided a good test to a group that is looking to prove themselves after a brief skid.

The first period was a blur that may have seen 4 stoppages. It was uneventful on the scoresheet, but that changed in the second when the Canucks sparked the action off on a power play that opened the middle frame. Pearson found twine, but that was the only bright spot in the 2nd for the Canucks who found themselves bruised and outshot 19-7 in a period that the road team controlled.

Thanks to the reliable play of Thatcher Demko, the Canucks were able to begin the third tied 1-1. It looked to be a game that would come down to the wire, something the Preds wouldn’t mind, until both teams exploded for goals, resulting in the 5-3 final.

Next up, the Canucks will welcome the Stars, another tough Central division opponent, on Thursday when they look to start streaking.

Lines

Travis Green changed up each of his forward lines aside from the third, looking to spark a lineup that had struggled to score over the past few games. The most notable changes came in the top six as J.T. Miller was moved to Bo Horvat’s line while Josh Leivo took a turn with Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser.

Prior to this one, Jay Beagle was listed as questionable and ultimately sat out with an undisclosed injury. Adam Gaudette started in his place between Schaller and Eriksson.

The pairings on the back end remained the same, while Demko got the start.

 

Highlights

Stats

canucks preds gameflow

canucks on ice

 

Game Notes

  • Brandon Sutter left the game with an apparent injury before the game was 10 minutes old. On a routine track towards a forecheck, he pulled up and favoured his leg. He went down the tunnel, came back out and did a twirl, then headed right back into the dressing room after showing his frustrations. In-game commentary suggested that it could be his groin based on Sutter’s reaction. What we do know is that it didn’t look good, and Travis Green didn’t offer more information on the injury in the post-game presser.
  • Sutter’s early injury left Horvat and Pettersson to carry the load. Horvat led all skaters in ice time with 27:06 while Pettersson logged 21:04. Impressively, Horvat took half of all faceoffs and played 11:48 of the third period.
  • The powerplay went 3/3 and was the bright spot. Two of the three goals came from the second unit who, like the first unit, whipped the puck around with speed and purpose.
  • The Predators finished with 37 shots on goal and 67 shot attempts. Demko wasn’t the story tonight, but he was very solid in this one. He was most notably great in the 2nd period and the main reason the Predators didn’t enter the intermission with a lead.

 

Top Performers

  • Pettersson looked like his phenomenal self, wristing home two goals. His first came on the powerplay, which set the tone and really got his team going. It was a nice play to take a puck off his chest and eventually put home the rolling puck. His second was a gift to the birthday boy who positioned himself nicely to provide the Canucks with the needed insurance marker.
  • Gaudette looked energized by the extra ice time, finishing with a primary assist and a goal. Both points came on the powerplay and were celebrated emphatically.
  • Pearson scored his first goal in 15 games as he flawlessly led the 2nd pp unit into the zone and ripped one by Pekka Rinne.
  • It’s tough to not give Horvat some kudos since he was leaned on so heavily. He didn’t come out with a point and his underlying numbers weren’t great, but that’s a ton of ice time for a guy who likely welcomed the added workload to help his team win.