Predators try to get back to winning ways at home
Tuesday, 12.08.2009 / 7:00 PM
NHL.comCANUCKS (16-13-0) at PREDATORS (16-11-2)
Vancouver 6-4-0; Nashville 6-3-1
This is the first of four meetings. In 2008-09, the Canucks won three of four matchups, including two on the road. Kyle Wellwood and Alexandre Burrows
each scored 2 goals for the Canucks, and three different goalies posted wins – Roberto Luongo
(shutout), Curtis Sanford and Jason LaBarbera. Seven different players scored goals for the Predators.
Vancouver will become the final Western Conference team to face the Predators for the first time this season, and Nashville will be looking to beat the Canucks on home ice for the first time since a 6-0 victory on Nov. 23, 2006 -- the only game in franchise history where a pair of netminders (Tomas Vokoun and Chris Mason) teamed to earn a shutout. Despite being among the League leaders with nine wins at home, the Predators are 1-3-0 in their last four at Sommet Center and have lost two straight by a combined score of 10-3. Overall, Nashville is 13-5-1 in its last 19 games. Vancouver is 6-9-0 on the road.
This is the final game of a four-game, one-week road trip. It began with wins against New Jersey and Philadelphia before Vancouver took a 5-3 loss at Carolina on Saturday.
Against the Hurricanes, Vancouver allowed three goals in the second period. Backup goalie Andrew Raycroft, playing his first game in nearly a month, made 23 saves in the loss.
"I was really disappointed with our second period," coach Alain Vigneault said. "It's tough to understand, especially from our top players, making the type of mistakes they're making and putting us behind the eight-ball and playing that way in front of Razor. It was really disappointing."
This is the second game of a four-game homestand. It began with a 5-3 loss against Minnesota last Saturday.
The Wild pounded goalies Dan Ellis and Pekka Rinne
with 39 shots. Ellis allowed four goals on 28 shots. Rinne came on to start the third period and stopped 10 of 11 shots.
Nashville coach Barry Trotz stressed that he wasn't unhappy with Ellis, but felt a change was needed.
"Ellis gave us a tremendous game in Chicago Friday night and he gave us two really good periods against the Wild," Trotz said. "I call it the 'mercy rule.' I know Ellis probably wasn't happy with me, but he was the reason we were partially still in the game."
For the Canucks, Burrows has 3 goals and an assist in his last three games, Jannik Hansen
has 3 goals in his last four games, Henrik Sedin
has 6 assists in his last three games, and Daniel Sedin
has a goal and 3 assists in his last three games. For the Predators, Martin Erat
has 2 goals and 2 assists in his last three games, Jason Arnott has 3 goals and an assist in his last three games, and Marcel Goc has 2 goals and an assist in his last three games.
For the Canucks, forwards Pavol Demitra (shoulder) and Michael Grabner (foot) are on injured reserve. For the Predators, center Dave Scatchard is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
Vancouver's Henrik Sedin
is tied for fifth in the League in scoring with 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists). He is also third with a shooting percentage of 23 percent (14 goals, 61 shots). … Before Erat scored a power play goal on Saturday, the Predators had scored 14 consecutive goals at even strength. … Nashville has scored in the first period in 10 of its last 12 games (13 goals). The Preds had only nine first-period goals in their first 17 games of the season.
"We have to find a way to pump it up a bit. Right from the drop of the puck, we have to get some life and get some energy out there. We always seem to play well in our home building except for the last little while. We just have to take the next two days and get ready for Tuesday." – Predators captain Jason Arnott to the Nashville City Paper