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Slumping Canucks look to turn it around against Predators

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The Sports Network
12/9/2008 3:56:50 PM
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(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks will try for their fifth straight win over the Nashville Predators, as the two teams meet tonight at the Sommet Center.

Vancouver won its last three meetings with Nashville last year and then began this campaign's four-game season series with a 4-0 home win on November 4. Kyle Wellwood scored twice in that game, while Daniel Sedin had a goal and an assist.

Robert Luongo made 24 saves in the shutout victory, but he won't be facing the Predators tonight due to a groin injury. Luongo has missed the Canucks last seven games and is week-to-week with the ailment.

Curtis Sanford and Cory Schneider have taken over goaltending duties. Schneider picked up his first NHL win on Friday versus Minnesota, but took the loss in Sunday's 5-4 shootout setback to Colorado.

Schneider made 31 saves but was beaten three times in the shootout frame. Wellwood scored in the extra session's first round for Vancouver, but Pavol Demitra failed in the second round and Colorado's Milan Hejduk iced things with a goal.

Steve Bernier scored twice in regulation, while Sedin and Darcy Hordichuk also lit the lamp for the Canucks, losers in five of their last six contests. Sedin has a goal and four assists over his last four games.

The Canucks also fell to 1-3-1 on their season-long seven-game road trip. They wrap the trek in Edmonton on Saturday and are 8-7-2 as the road team this season.

Nashville had a three-game winning streak halted in last night's 6-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues. Pekka Rinne, who had two shutouts in his last three games and was named the NHL's First Star for last week on Monday, allowed five goals on 25 shots for his first loss in nine starts this season (6-1-0).

The Predators will try to get former No. 1 goaltender Dan Ellis into the game tonight. Ellis was to start Saturday's game versus Minnesota before taking a puck off his knee in morning practice. Ellis did not play on that day and obviously sat out last night's game as well. He has not appeared in a game since November 29.

Ellis allowed all four goals on 39 shots faced in the loss to Vancouver earlier this season.

J.P. Dumont scored in his second straight game on Monday night and has three goals and three assists over a five-game point streak. Antti Pihlstrom scored his first NHL goal while Kevin Klein lit the lamp for the first time since October 13 for the Predators, who are 3-1-0 this season on the back end of playing on consecutive nights.

Nashville is 7-3-1 as the host this year.

Vancouver Canucks (Photo: Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
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