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Nashville Predators 1, Vancouver Canucks 4 FINAL

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ Brent Sopel stepped up when star defenseman Ed Jovanovski went down with a shoulder injury.

Sopel, who took over the point on the top power-play unit after Jovanovski was hurt, scored twice and added an assist in the Canucks' 4-1 victory over Nashville on Sunday night.

Henrik Sedin and Todd Bertuzzi also scored, and Markus Naslund added three assists to help the Canucks win at home in regulation for the first time since Nov. 8.

``When you lose a big guy like Eddie, everybody has to step up and do the little things right,'' Sopel said after matching his career high with three points.

For Sopel, that meant getting his point shot through on the power play. He did in the second period when Vancouver broke open a one-goal game by converting three of six power plays, matching its total from 34 chances in the previous 10 games.

``It hasn't happened a lot, but I want to take advantage of my opportunities when I am out there,'' said Sopel, who usually works with the second power-play unit.

Sopel, who opened the scoring with a long slap shot late in the first period, scored through Bertuzzi's screen during a four-on-three advantage just 1:01 into the second.

Sedin scored off Sopel's rebound about six minutes later, and Bertuzzi made it 4-0 with his third goal in the last two games, scoring off a deflection of Naslund's wrist shot on a play started by Sopel.

``It's nice to get out there with some of the best players in the league,'' Sopel said of Naslund and Bertuzzi. ``A couple of guys going right to the All-Star game.''

Jovanovski sprained his right shoulder just three minutes into the game.

Jovanovski slid hard into the end boards with Nashville forward Martin Erat on his back after driving to the net and diving for a pass on a short-handed break. Jovanovski, who has seven goals and 21 points, was down on the ice in obvious pain while a trainer attended to his shoulder, then skated straight to locker room.

``He'll be out a little bit. We don't know how long,'' said Canucks coach Marc Crawford, adding he would call up a replacement player from Manitoba of the American Hockey League on Monday. ``We'll know a lot more tomorrow.''

Dan Cloutier made 15 saves for the Canucks, allowing only Jordin Tootoo's power-play goal midway through the third period.

Chris Mason made 28 saves for Nashville, coming off a 4-3 victory in Edmonton on Saturday night and playing its third game in four nights.

``We weren't ready to play,'' Mason said. ``Against a team like Vancouver, if you're not ready, they're going to take it to you.''

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