The Vancouver Canucks skated into Nashville, Tennessee tonight to finish off their four-game road trip when they took on the Predators , who was looking to improve their playoff positioning in the Western Conference. With a win tonight and Los Angeles and Phoenix losses Nashville could jump from 6th place all the way to 3rd place in the West.
Vancouver also had some motivation to win tonight’s game as well, with a win tonight Vancouver could set a franchise record with their ninth straight road win. The Canucks could also wrap up the No. 1 seed in the West if they were to get at least one point tonight as they lead the second place Detroit Red Wings by 11 points. It has been a record breaking season for Vancouver, setting club records for points (109), road wins (25) and winning 50 games for the first time in franchise story.
This is becoming a habit that the Vancouver might want to remedy before the playoffs, once again they did not score in the first period, but neither did Nashville as the first period ended 0-0. Vancouver who has the best road power play and Nashville each had a power play chance in the first. Nashville out shot Vancouver 10 – 7 in the first period.
In the second period even though Vancouver out-shot Nashville and was the better team Nashville scored the only goal. Jonathan Blum shot from the left circle was stopped by Roberto Luongo, but the rebound when right to Mike Fisher who scored his 18th goal with a shot over Luongo’s glove giving Nashville a 1-0 lead.
In the third period Vancouver turned up the heat out-shooting Nashville 14-2 and scored 3 goals defeating Nashville 3-1. Vancouver got the scoring going early at 1:17 when Henrik Sedin found Alex Burrows alone in front of Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne who scored his 23rd goal of the season. Alex Burrows was not done though, as Daniel Sedin made a perfect pass to Burrows as he snuck behind the Nashville defense and scored on a breakaway with a back hand shot that eluded Rinne. The third goal was scored into the empty net when Aaron Rome fired a shot from his own end into a vacant Nashville net to seal the victory; it was Rome’s first goal in 108 games.
After winning all 4 games on their road trip Vancouver returns home to play the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.
Notes: The only negative coming out of the game was that Vancouver struggled on the power play going 0-5, something that can’t happen in the playoffs if they plan to win the cup… Manny Malhotra had a second successful surgery on his injured eye and it will probably be 6-8 weeks before a prognosis can be made
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Written by Kevin Kelly