Now just one win away from getting to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 17 years, the Canucks look to close out their series with the Nashville Predators in Game 5 tonight at Rogers Arena. Lifetime the Canucks have gone 6-1 when they have led a playoff series 3-1.
Ryan Kesler (3g,4a), Christian Ehrhoff (1g,4a), and Henrik Sedin (1g,2a) lead Vancouver in head-to-head scoring this series while Joel Ward (2g,2a), Ryan Suter (1g,2a), and Martin Erat (3a) lead the Preds. Roberto Luongo is sporting a 1.26 goals against average and .949 save percentage against Nashville while Pekka Rinne has a 1.69 GAA and a .942 Sv% against the Canucks.
No changes are expected tonight for the Canucks following their 4-2 win in Game 4 on Thursdsay. Vancouver is sporting the best home ice record of any team in the playoffs (4-2).
Prior to Game 3 of this series, Ryan Kesler had scored just two goals lifetime against Nashville. Two of the three goals he scored at Bridgestone Arena this series were game-winners. Only three other players in Canucks history have scored back-to-back game winning goals in consecutive playoff games (Daniel Sedin-2010, Greg Adams-1994, and Tiger Williams-1982).
Christian Ehrhoff enters tonight’s action leading all NHL defencemen in playoff scoring (2g,7a) as well as leading the entire league in power play assists (5). All of Ehrhoff's points in this series came in the last two games.
With two assists in Game 4, Henrik Sedin passed Pavel Bure to move into 3rd spot in Canucks all-time playoff assists (34). Two more assists will move Henrik past Geoff Courtnall on that list.
For the second straight game, Preds head coach Barry Trotz is required to bring a new player into the series. Jerred Smithson did not make the trip to Vancouver. J-P Dumont is expected to make his series debut after playing two games in the first round against the Anaheim Ducks.
Cody Franson’s goal in Game 4 was the Predators 14th goal in this year’s playoffs scored in either the third period or overtime. Only the Tampa Bay Lightning has more.
The Predators have never won a game when facing the possibility of being knocked out of the playoffs. They are 0-5 lifetime in elimination games and 0-1 when trailing a series 3-1.