Surging Canucks earn points in seventh straight; top Predators
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Elias Pettersson and Pius Suter each had a goal and an assist to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-2 National Hockey League victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.
Nils Hoglander, Nils Aman and Teddy Blueger also scored and Casey DeSmith made 26 saves for Vancouver, which is 6-0-1 over their last seven games. Quinn Hughes and Ilya Mikheyev each chipped in with two assists.
“Against this team here, they have a lot of offence, they can go,” Vancouver coach Rick Tocchet said. “I think we defended them really well tonight.”
The Canucks swept the three-game season series with Nashville.
The first period was largely sleepy, until the Canucks broke through for two goals in a span of 31 seconds.
Pettersson opened the scoring with 3:22 remaining when his wrist shot from the right circle beat Saros on the far side. Aman followed quickly when he was the beneficiary of a Nashville turnover that filtered to him unchecked in front and he got his first goal of the season.
“I think it was a good, solid 60 minutes from us,” Pettersson said. “We talked about our starts and I think we came out strong.”
Lauzon halved Vancouver’s lead with 5:37 remaining in the second with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that beat DeSmith on the short side for his second goal in three games.
“We weren’t at our best, we were flat at times,” Lauzon said. “I think we had a little push in the second there, but definitely not our best.”
But just 15 seconds later, Hoglander redirected Hughes’ shot by Saros to restore Vancouver’s two-goal lead and Suter followed 46 seconds after that, giving the Canucks a 4-1 advantage.
“I just try to play my style, grinding net-front a lot,” Hoglander said. “I think that’s where the goals (are scored).”
Hughes has 20 assists in 13 career games played against Nashville.
Vancouver is 19-0-0 when leading after two periods this season.
Blueger scored at 1:16 of the third, spelling the end of the night for Saros, who was replaced by Kevin Lankinen.
“Tonight, I felt we cost ourselves four goals with mental breakdowns,” Nashville coach Andrew Brunette said. “Those are hard to overcome, especially the momentum swings after you make it 2-1. To me, that was the hockey game.”
Lankinen stopped all 11 shots he faced in relief.
Glass scored in the game’s final minute.
Canucks: Visit Dallas on Thursday.
Predators: Visit Philadelphia on Thursday.
AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL