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Back on track, Canucks try to slow down Predators

by Adam Kimelman
PREDATORS (27-16-6) at CANUCKS (30-10-9)


Last 10 --
Nashville 7-3-0; Vancouver 4-2-4

Season series -- This is the first of four meetings between the teams this season. They split four meetings last season, with each team winning once at home and once on the road.

Big Story -- The Predators are looking to rebound after the Flames snapped their three-game win streak Monday. Meanwhile, the Canucks nicely snapped their four-game losing streak by routing the Stars on Monday.

Team Scope:

Predators -- With 10 of 13 games in January on the road, the stage was set for a drop down the standings. Instead, Nashville has gone 9-3-0 this month, including 6-3-0 on the road.

A win Wednesday would mark just the sixth time in club history the Predators have posted double-figure wins in a month. It also could put them within two points of Central Division-leading Detroit, as well as increase their lead on fifth-place Anaheim for the fourth in the Western Conference.

Canucks -- The Canucks put an emphatic end to any questions about their imminent demise. A four-game winless streak will bring questions, but Monday's 7-1 thrashing of the Stars brought concrete answers.

Seven different players scored goals for the conference-leading Canucks as they routed the team with the third-most points in the conference.

"We had four lines and six defense going, and when you have that, you see what can happen," Canucks center Ryan Kesler told the Vancouver Province. "We know the way we need to play. We saw improvement and I just think it's the confidence that we know we can win every night."

Who's Hot --
Predators goalie Pekka Rinne had his four-game win streak snapped Monday when he allowed three goals against the Flames. It was just the second time in his last 11 games he allowed more than two goals. … The Sedins continue to lead the Canucks, now with matching four-game point-scoring streaks. Henrik has 2 goals and 4 assists in his streak, while Daniel has 5 assists.

Injury Report -- Predators forwards J-P Dumont (neck) and Marek Svatos (lower body) and defenseman Francis Bouillon (upper body) are questionable for Wednesday's game. … Canucks forward Aaron Rome is out with a sprained knee. Forward Alexandre Bolduc is out with a shoulder injury, as is defenseman Andrew Alberts.

Stat Pack --
The Canucks went 3-for-7 on the power play Monday at home against the Stars. In their three previous home games, they had been 1-for-15 with the man advantage.

Puck Drop -- After scoring a career-best 30 goals last season, Canucks forward Mikael Samuelsson has just 9 in his first 48 games this season. He had a goal and an assist Monday against the Stars, snapping a 14-game goal drought, and it was his first multi-point game since Dec. 20.

"It feels good to score goals, I'm not going to lie to you about that," Samuelsson told the Vancouver Province. "This may sound cocky, but I knew that if I kept doing the right things, being strong on the puck and moving it, it was just a matter of time. But it's nice to see them go in."

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