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Canucks continue trip in Nashville

by Davis Harper

CANUCKS (9-3-4) at PREDATORS (8-4-5)

TV: SNET-Pacific, FS-Tennessee

Last 10: Vancouver 7-1-2; Nashville 6-2-2

Season series: This is the first of three meetings. After Vancouver defeated Nashville in a six- game series to advance to the Western Conference Finals in 2010-11, the two teams split their four meetings in 2011-12.

Big story: After stumbling slightly in their past few outings, both teams enter Friday off a win: Nashville topped Detroit 4-3 in overtime on Tuesday while Vancouver won 4-3 in Dallas on Thursday night.

Team Scope:

Canucks: Vancouver was out for revenge Thursday in Dallas. Six days prior, the Stars handed the Canucks their only regulation loss in the past 12 games. That loss kicked off a three-game skid, the second and third of which Vancouver lost in a shootout. Jamie Benn gave Dallas the early lead, but the Canucks rallied as the teams entered the third even at 2-2. Jason Garrison and Henrik Sedin scored in a 1:46 span early in the period, giving the Canucks the cushion they needed to escape with the regulation win.

"I think it was important for our team to put together a better two-way effort and I thought we did that tonight," said Canucks coach Alain Vigneault, whose team was 0-1-2 in its three previous games. "Even though we started off on our heels a little bit, I thought the guys responded after that."

Predators: Just when it looked like opponents were going to need a small miracle to score on Pekka Rinne and the top-ranked Predators defense, Nashville proved it was human after all. Following a stretch in which Rinne had three shutouts in five starts, the Predators lost to Anaheim in a shootout and then conceded an unheard-of six goals to a struggling Colorado Avalanche team on a 6-5 loss on Monday.

Against Detroit the next day, the Predators were back to their winning ways, if not exactly the suffocating style with which they started the season. Roman Josi gave Nashville a 3-2 lead with minutes to play, but just over 30 seconds later Pavel Datsyuk responded to tie the game. In the first minute of overtime, Shea Weber continued his hot play with a wrist shot for the winner.

"He has scored in three straight games here," coach Barry Trotz said of his captain. "I just think with the bigger guys, it just takes a little longer to get going, getting your hands, getting your feet, getting your wind getting up ice."

Who's hot: Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin has two goals and three assists over a three-game point streak. … Nashville's Colin Wilson has two goals and five assists over a five-game point streak, while Weber has three goals and two assists in his past three outings.

Injury report: Paul Gaustad is day-to-day for Nashville with an upper-body injury. … Jannik Hansen will return to the Canucks lineup after serving his one-game suspension for his hit on Marian Hossa. Manny Malhotra is out for the season with vision problems.

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