By Jackson Walsh
The Nashville Predators conclude a five-day rest after a nailbiting loss to the Golden Knights 4-3 in a shootout Saturday by a trip north of the border to visit the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. This will be the second of three matchup with Vancouver, the first being a 5-3 loss for the Predators at Bridgestone Arena on November 30.
Since the teams last meeting, the Canucks have lost both Bo Horvat to a foot fracture for six weeks and Sven Baertschi to a fractured jaw for 4-6 weeks. This adds to a growing list of injured Canucks that features Brandon Sutterand Derek Dorsett also out with lower-body injuries and Erik Gudbranson out with an upper–body injury. Losing both Horvat and Baertschi is a big loss on paper, seeing as the the two have combined for 38 points thus far this season. Vancouver also resembles a struggling team in the standings, being 14-12-4, fifth in the Pacific Division. However, the team has a lot of strong wingers such as Brock Boeser, Thomas Vanek, Loui Erikkson, and Daniel Sedin, and as Nashville learned the last time out, they can have shown the ability to fight back.
Nashville took three consecutive leads during the Nov. 30 matchup, 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2 in the second period only to concede three goals in the final period. Daniel Sedin got his 1,000th career point in the tying goal. This may have seem like a collapse on part of the Predators, yet all the scoring plays were beautifully set up in front of Rinne. The visitors played with a strong counter attack and plenty of speed and precision to set up scoring chances. Sedin’s landmark goal was deflected in behind Pekka, while Boeser’s go-ahead goal was a well executed give and go followed by a creative deke to get the puck past the glove side of Rinne.
Nashville will hopefully be more well rested and focused on the goal this time out. Get on the board early, stay out of the box, and have a sharp defensive plan.
Predators 4, Canucks 3