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Canucks end road trip in Nashville against Predators

by David Kalan

CANUCKS (14-10-5) at PREDATORS (13-11-3)


Last 10: Vancouver 3-4-3; Nashville 5-4-1

Season series: This is the first game between the Vancouver Canucks and Nashville Predators. Vancouver swept its season series with Nashville in 2012-13, winning three games by a combined score of 13-6.

Big story: The Canucks wrap up a four-game road trip Tuesday, where they face a Predators team looking to rebound after opening its homestand with back-to-back losses.

Team Scope:

Canucks: A win here is all that separates the Canucks from a winning road trip before they head back to British Columbia. Vancouver defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 Sunday with Ryan Kesler's two goals and 29 saves by backup goalie Eddie Lack, which dulled the sting of a 5-2 defeat the night before to the New York Rangers and former coach Alain Vigneault.

"When you score two quick ones in a road game, it backs them off a bit," Kesler said of the win at Carolina. "You've got to give them credit though. They came back in the second and it was a whole new hockey game."

Vancouver is in fifth place in the Pacific Division, eight points behind the first-place San Jose Sharks, who have three games in hand.

Predators: In either Eastern Conference division, Nashville would be in Stanley Cup Playoff position or in the hunt, but in the Central Division with the Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche, the Predators are well off the pace of the top three and the race to be one of the Western wild card teams is shaping up to be a daunting one.

The Predators have done themselves no favors on their homestand, getting shut out by the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday before losing in a shootout to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

"I thought we probably deserved a better fate," coach Barry Trotz said. "We played well enough with the young defense. Any one of their defensemen has more experience than all six of ours.

"We should have won the game, but we didn't."

Nashville ends its homestand Thursday against Carolina.

Who's hot: Vancouver defenseman Jason Garrison has a goal and five assists in his past five games. ... Nashville forward Mike Fisher has three goals in the past four games.

Injury report: Vancouver forward Jordan Schroeder (sprained ankle) is expected to be out until mid-to-late December. Defensemen Kevin Klein (lower body) and Shea Weber (eye) are questionable for Nashville, which placed forward Filip Forsberg (upper body) on injured reserve Sunday.

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