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Canucks v Predators - 2011 Stanley Cup Conference Semifinals

Predators reflect on difficult end to season

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- With their first taste of playoff success, the Nashville Predators learned a number of things -- the sad fact among them that the farther a team advances, the harder it is to accept defeat.

"All the great teams said they had to learn how to lose before they could win and, you know, we lost a bunch in the first round," said David Legwand, a Predator since the team's first season. "The farther you get the tougher it is to swallow."

The Predators' season officially ended in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals at 9:46 Central time Monday with a 2-1 loss at Bridgestone Arena to Vancouver. In the immediate aftermath, players were having a hard time finding the silver lining, which is a shiny one, to be sure.

Preds can't cash in on power play

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn.Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz called it "a tough pill to swallow."

In the first period, Nashville failed to score on four power-play opportunities.  According to the stats the Predators' coaching staff keeps, Trotz said, Nashville had out-chanced Vancouver by an 11-2 margin in the first 20 minutes -- and yet they entered second intermission down by two goals.

In the end, the Predators went 0-for-5 with the man advantage in 8:29 of time in the 2-1 Game 6 loss that gave the series victory to Vancouver. It continued a series-long trend in which Nashville scored but one power-play goal in 21 chances.

"We had some chances on the power play, we drew penalties, but we didn't convert and then they converted on their two chances and that was a little tough," Trotz said.

Legwand shines despite series loss to Canucks

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- After goalie Pekka Rinne, center David Legwand was arguably Nashville's best player in this Western Conference Semifinal series that Vancouver ended on Monday in six games with a 2-1 win at Bridgestone Arena.

Legwand, who has played in each of the 12 seasons that the Predators have existed, had four of his team's 11 goals in the series, including two shorthanded. The No. 2 pick in the 1998 Entry Draft also had an assist and was plus-2 in the series and led Nashville in time on ice among its forwards. On Saturday, he had the Predators only goal.

Legwand spoke with reporters after his season ended Monday night.

Henrik Sedin plays huge role in Canucks' win

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Daniel Sedin finally scored a goal in Game 6 against Nashville and his brother had a hand in what proved to be the series-clinching winner for the Vancouver Canucks, who advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 17 years with a 2-1 victory against the Predators at Bridgestone Arena.

Daniel's power-play goal, his first of the series and sixth of the playoffs, erased some of the pressure from both his and Henrik's shoulders and it gave the Canucks a much-needed 2-0 lead over the Predators. Nashville got one back, but it wasn't enough.

Daniel played only 14 minutes in Game 6 and Henrik played just 17:47. A lot of that was a result of eight and a half minutes of penalty kill time over the first 40 minutes, but in the third period when the Canucks were clinging to their lead, Daniel played more than six minutes and Henrik more than seven, proving coach Alain Vigneault was telling the truth when he said he never lost confidence in the twins.

The Sedins finished the series against Nashville with only 7 points and a minus-10 rating. They know they have to be better against either San Jose or Detroit, but for the moment they got to enjoy a victory that they had a big part in. Henrik spoke about it afterwards. Here is what he had to say:

Tambellini makes postseason debut for Canucks

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Vancouver forward Jeff Tambellini will make his career Stanley Cup Playoff debut in Game 6 Monday at Bridgestone Arena. Tambellini has drawn in for the injured Mikael Samuelsson and will start the game on the Canucks' fourth line with Tanner Glass and Cody Hodgson.

Vancouver holds a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Tambellini, who had 17 points in 62 games during the regular season, hasn't played since April 9. He said Monday morning that he was looking forward to getting the opportunity to play playoff hockey, and it's why he signed with the Canucks last summer.

"It's a situation where you're playing on a first place team and hope to be a part of this in any way," Tambellini said. "This is exactly what I was looking for. It's something I knew might happen and I'm excited just to have the opportunity."

Loverboy singer lends song to Canucks' Cup run

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Rock stars enjoy certain fringe benefits that go along with selling out arenas and moving albums by the millions. And if they're really lucky, they get to contribute a rally song to their favorite NHL team's march through the Stanley Cup playoffs.

By the time his band, Loverboy, was among the 1980's biggest musical acts, singer Mike Reno was rubbing elbows with several members of the Vancouver Canucks, including longtime captain Stan Smyl. Now serving as host of the Bro Jake Show on Vancouver's Classic Rock 101 radio station, Reno hasn't forgotten about his hometown team.

Canucks could see changes in Game 6

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NASHVILLE -- Prior to leaving Vancouver the Canucks already knew there was going to be at least one lineup change for Game 6 Monday night because Mikael Samuelsson (lower body) was not in the team's traveling party. The Canucks, though, could potentially have another lineup change as well as some rejiggered defensive pairs as they again go for the knockout punch against the Predators.

Chris Higgins insists he'll play in Game 6 despite a sore left foot, a result of blocking Kevin Klein's shot in the first period Saturday night. Higgins, though, left the ice well before his teammates Monday morning and it was Victor Oreskovich who skated in his spot on the second line with Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond when the Canucks did 3-on-2 rushes.

"I just wanted to try it out and it felt fine," Higgins said. "Just pushing off a little bit hurts, but it's something I'll get through."

Predators expect to have Smithson available

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

"Yeah, I feel good. It's up to the coaching staff. We had a pretty good formula and I wouldn't be disappointed if they didn't change anything, but if they need me I'm good to go." -- Nashville's Jerred Smithson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Predators checking line center Jerred Smithson, who ranked sixth in the League in faceoff percentage during the regular season, is poised to return to the lineup on Monday for Game 6 against Vancouver after sitting out the last game with an upper-body injury.

Nashville coach Barry Trotz said he is "very optimistic" that Smithson will be ready to play. Smithson is plus-2 in 10 playoff games and also is one of Nashville's best penalty killers.

"Yeah, I feel good," Smithson said after Nashville's morning skate on Monday. "It's up to the coaching staff. We had a pretty good formula and I wouldn't be disappointed if they didn't change anything, but if they need me I'm good to go."

Preds start to open things up against Canucks

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Usually for the Nashville Predators, safe is what coach Barry Trotz preaches.

However, with his team facing elimination in Game 5 at Vancouver's Rogers Arena on Saturday and one of his top two-way forwards out of the lineup, Trotz went against that grain.

In meeting with the media after the game, Trotz appropriated the slogan that John Tortorella championed as coach of Tampa Bay, when Tortorella guided the Lightning to the 2004 Stanley Cup: "Safe is Death."

Annually in the playoffs, Trotz talks about the adjustments that constantly go on in a series – "the chess match." After getting off the team's charter plane on Sunday – where the Predators were greeted by hundreds of cheering fans – Trotz said that going forward Nashville would continue to open things up.

Canucks need to limit the mistakes

Dhiren Mahiban - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- After reviewing the tape of Saturday night's 4-3 loss to the Nashville Predators, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault came to the conclusion his team needs to cut down on their mistakes.

David Legwand's first goal of the night came on a turnover at the Predators' blue line as Mikael Samuelsson was manning the point on Vancouver's power play.

Joel Ward's first goal came off of a Canucks' turnover at their own blue line. His second of the night, and seventh of the playoffs, came as a result of an Alexander Edler turnover deep in the Vancouver zone.

"Obviously it would've been better for us to get it done (Saturday) night, but that being said, hockey is a game of mistakes. We made some and they made us pay for it," Vigneault said Sunday. "We're not going to be perfect tomorrow; we're going to make mistakes also. We just got to find a way to win a game."
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