Canucks 4 Predators 1
VANCOUVER — Twin brothers Daniel and Henrik Sedin each scored a goal and added two assists as the Vancouver Canucks beat the Nashville Predators 4-1 Tuesday night.
Steve Bernier and Sami Salo also scored for the Canucks (21-16-0) as they moved into sole possession of eighth place in the Western Conference.
It was only their second victory in nine meetings with Central Division teams this season. Rebounding from a loss to St. Louis, they continued their trend of beating top clubs after losing to teams who are at or near the bottom of the standings.
The Predators (22-12-3), who rank among the best in the Western Conference after years of late-season struggles to make the playoffs, saw their four-game road winning streak come to an end.
Nashville had been one of the NHL’s hottest scoring clubs, but Patric Hornqvist was the lone Predator to beat Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo, who made 20 saves while coming within five and a half minutes of a shuout.
The Predators lost for only the second time in eight games as their suddenly potent offence dried up.
The Canucks outshot the Predators 36-21. Vancouver scored on one of three power play chances while Nashville was blanked on two.
After a scoreless first period, the Canucks dominated the second, built a 2-0 lead following 40 minutes, and never looked back.
The scoreless opening session marked the first time in 14 periods that the Predators failed to score. Nashville’s consecutive-period scoring run was the longest in the NHL this season.
No other team had scored in 14 straight periods since Buffalo pulled off the feat at this time last year. Buffalo’s streak also ended on Dec. 22.
Aided by two power plays, the Canucks outshot the Predators 14-6 in the first period but could not beat Nashville goaltender Dan Ellis.
Bernier opened the scoring 6:39 into the second period. Nashville defenceman Ryan Suter blocked a Tanner Glass shot and Bernier fired in a loose puck from the slot. Kyle Wellwood, whose forechecking triggered the play, also drew an assist.
Near the midway mark of the second, Nashville lost Bouillon as he was rushed off the ice following a scramble in front of Ellis. A little while later, Luongo robbed Jason Arnott, snaring the Nashville captain’s wrist shot after he one-timed a drop pass from Steve Sullivan.
Daniel Sedin gave the Canucks a 2-0 lead at 16:23 of the second on a give-and-go with Henrik during a power play. The goal came after Nashville’s Dave Scatchard, who failed an injury-marred pre-season tryout with the Canucks, was penalized for goaltender interference.
Salo put the Canucks ahead 3-0 about seven minutes into the third as he one-timed Henrik Sedin’s pass. The point shot went in off Nashville defenceman Dan Hamhuis. Henrik Sedin, who has more points than any other NHL player this month, gave the Canucks a 4-0 advantage as he put in Daniel’s pass from behind the net at 9:31 of the third.
Hornqvist spoiled Luongo’s shutout bid with 5:24 left in the game on a backhand following a deke on a two-on-none.
Notes: Canucks defenceman Alex Edler played his first game since suffering a shoulder injury Dec. 8 in Nashville . . . Arnott returned after missing Saturday’s win in Calgary with an upper-body injury . . . Canucks defenceman Mathieu Schneider was scratched after missing practice the previous two days for personal reasons . . . Winger Pavol Demitra has rejoined the Canucks after receiving treatment for a shoulder injury in his native Slovakia. He is not expected to resume playing for another three or four weeks, but hopes to represent his homeland in the Winter Olympics.