Erat's hat trick powers Predators to 4-2 win
Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:15 AM
The Nashville Predators
had enough of losing at home to the Vancouver Canucks
. Martin Erat
made sure the victory drought ended on Tuesday night.
Erat scored three goals for his second NHL hat trick and added an assist on Patric Hornqvist
's goal to lead the Predators to a 4-2 victory over the Canucks, ending a four-game home losing streak to the Canucks with their first win since Nov. 23, 2006.
Erat gave Nashville the lead at 4:19 of the first period when he grabbed a loose puck below the goal line and banked a shot off the goal post, off the left skate of goalie Roberto Luongo
and into the net.
Erat made it 2-0 at 3:03 of the second period with a power-play goal. Francis Bouillon
's pass sent Erat speeding into the Vancouver zone, and he beat Luongo between the pads with a forehand-to-backhand move.
"We made a few mistakes, but you can only go to the well so many times before it bites you," Luongo said. "Taking penalties every game, you get away with it sometimes, but it's going to hurt you once in a while."
After scoring just one goal in his first 17 games, Erat has eight in his last 10. His only other three-goal game was March 4, 2008, at Edmonton.
"They didn't bounce for me at the beginning of the season, and I just tried to get myself together," Erat said. "I'm happy they are just going in right now."
Vancouver cut the lead to 2-1 at 12:12 of the second with a power-play goal when Ryan Kesler
tapped in Henrik Sedin
's pass during a 5-on-3 advantage. It was Kesler's first goal in 15 games.
"Right now, we have guys that can play a lot better, that have to play a lot better," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "We need to start watching the standings here a little bit more and the importance of these games right now that we're finding ways to lose."
Rinne finished with 34 saves for his 12th win of the season.
"Vancouver played a really gritty, in your face game, but we managed the game really well," Rinne said. "It was a huge two points for us."
Hornqvist recorded Nashville's second power-play goal of the game at 11:27 of the third period when he completed a tic-tac-toe passing play, beating Luongo off feeds from Erat and Jason Arnott.
"The Hornqvist goal was a really well-executed play," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "The power play had some more looks today. They entered better, and then they executed better."
scored at 16:25 of the third to cut the Predators' lead to 3-2, but Erat sealed Nashville's win with an empty-netter.
"When you put pucks on the net and pressure in the crease, good things can happen," Erat said of his big night. Sometimes it goes off the goalie, sometimes it goes off a defenseman. It’s almost like putting a ball in a bingo machine – if it bounces to the right place, you can put it in the net."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.