Vancouver Canucks Out-hit, Out-fight and Out-score Nashville Predators 3 – 1…
The Vancouver Canucks beat the Nashville Predators 3 – 1 in a hard-fought game Tuesday, December 9th.
Vancouver opened the scoring at the 8:35 mark of the first period with an even-strength goal by Pavol Dimitra, his eighth of the campaign. After Nashville’s fourth line iced the puck, Vancouver kept the puck in the Predator’s end despite losing the subsequent face-off. After a battle for the puck near the blue line on the left side boards, Kyle Wellwood gained control of the puck and skated through the right face-off circle, carrying the puck and making moves that left Predator’s defender Kevin Klein flat-footed before sending a perfect, laser-like pass to Dimitra, who simply shot the puck into a wide-open net.
The Predators, however, answered back quickly, scoring just two minutes and twenty-eight seconds later on a power-play goal by Radek Bonk. Bonk was left alone at the top of the goal crease and slid the puck under Canucks’ goaltender Curtis Sanford after a nice feed from Martin Erat. Bonk’s goal was just his second of the season.
Nashville managed to kill off a rare seven-minute Vancouver power-play in the second period, and it looked as if the momentum might shift in Nashville’s favor after the successful penalty kill, however the period closed with the teams still tied at one apiece.
The Vancouver Canucks entered the third period once again on the power play, this time a four-on-three advantage. Vancouver defenseman Alex Edler converted an incredible pass from Henrik Sedin just twenty-four seconds into the period. Sedin sent a blind, behind-the-back pass as he was falling after being cross-checked at the left of Predator’s goalie Dan Ellis. Sedin’s pass perfectly hit the wide open Edler near the bottom of the right face off circle. Like Dimitra in the first period, Edler had a wide-open net to shoot at, and he didn’t miss.
Alexandre Burrows capped the scoring with an empty net goal at 19:16 of the third, after some hard work by line mate Ryan Kessler to gain control of the puck at the Predator’s blue line.
The game featured some bone-crushing hits: first Vancouver’s Matthias Ohlund leveled Radek Bonk in full flight at the Canucks’ blue line. Then Vancouver’s Rob Davison flattened Scott Nichol in front of the Vancouver bench. Nichol seemed woozy after the hit, and a melee broke out immediately. Davison had so much momentum when he hit Nichol that Davison ended up mostly in the Canuck’s bench after the hit. Vancouver’s Jason Jaffrey fought Nashville’s Rich Paverley to a draw in the ensuing brouhaha. Nichol, meanwhile, headed straight to the dressing room. Alexandre Burrows of the Canucks left his feet to level J.P. Dumont, resulting in another fight, as Jason Arnott took on Burrows. Dumont was slow to get up. Later, Vancouver’s Ryan Kessler nailed Shea Weber into the corner boards, and yet another dog pile ensued.
It was the Canucks’ second win in a row and netted the team five out of a possible six points in their previous three games, after starting their seven-game road trip with three straight losses.
The Vancouver Canucks next play the Edmonton Oilers Saturday, December 13th at 7pm PST.