Heading into Rogers Arena, the Preds were expecting an easy game against one of the lower tier teams in the league, however, it looked like the roles were switched for this game.
It is easy to point at the late start as the source of all the problems, but unfortunately, that was not the case. So here is the breakdown.
As a normal defensive powerhouse, the Preds gave up more breakaway, and two on one opportunities than fans are used to, which led to Vancouver’s dominance of high danger scoring chances. But that isn’t the only reason that led to Nashville’s defeat.
Starting with the first goal, which came on the Vancouver Power-play, Alex Edler fired a goal in from the blue line, but what makes this goal noteworthy, is that Bo Horvat, a big bodied Center for the Canucks, was able to get in front of the net without either of the Nashville defensemen noticing, which gave Horvat an easy time when screening Pekka Rinne. On Vancouver’s second goal Bo Horvat had an easy time scoring on Pekka Rinne after being set up by Jake Virtanen. This goal came on the third two on one opportunity of the period.
Starting the second period, the Preds got away with a high-stick goal from Ryan Hartman making it 2-1 in Vancouver’s favor. Less than two minutes later, Jake Virtanen responded on another two on one chance making it 3-1. Things would settle down until Sissons and Grimaldi were each unable to convert on breakaway opportunities that were separated by a minute. To wrap up the intense final three minutes of the period, Elias Pettersson, who must’ve taken note from Grimaldi, and Sissons, converted on a penalty shot on Pekka Rinne.
The Third Period would be the only period where Nashville played better than Vancouver. Although Loui Eriksson was able to light the lamp early in the period, the Preds would gain control of the game for that period, which gave Jusse Saros, who had come in for Pekka, a much easier time as he only had to face 3 shots. With goals coming from Sissons and Irwin, it proved to be too little too late.
As a summary, the Preds appeared to heavily underestimate the Canucks, that partnered with sloppy play and poor defense led to an easy game for the Canucks who did not Ca-suck for a change.