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Preview: Predators at Canucks

Nashville coping with injuries on defense; Vancouver forward Henrik Sedin two points from 1,000

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Correspondent

PREDATORS (20-16-7) at CANUCKS (20-19-6) 

10 p.m. ET; SNP, FS-TN, NHL.TV

 

Predators team scope

The Nashville Predators will have to overcome another injury on defense when they try to win four straight games for the first time this season. Already missing top defensemen P.K. Subban and Roman Josi, the Predators placed Petter Granberg on injured reserve and claimed Brad Hunt off waivers from the St. Louis Blues. Hunt, who had five points in nine games with the Blues this season, won't join the Predators in time so 20-year-old rookie Alexandre Carrier will play his first NHL game. "It seems like somebody new every day but our guys are working hard to stay competitive and win games," coach Peter Laviolette said. Subban, who has missed 14 games because of an upper-body injury, practiced Monday and took part in the morning skate Tuesday but remains on injured reserve. Laviolette declined to update on his status. The Predators have won three straight, including a 2-1 overtime victory against the Vancouver Canucks on Jan. 10. "We had guys going down, guys coming in and out, switching partners, playing left and right side, but it's been fairly good," defenseman Yannick Weber said. "At the start you just want to simplify and eventually you get a feel for what your partner is going to do in certain situations."

 

Canucks team scope

Canucks center Henrik Sedin is two points shy from 1,000 in his NHL career. He's had an assist in each of his past two games after going pointless in his previous four. "It's been a long countdown," Sedin said. "Daniel always makes fun of me on the bench when they do the countdown on the scoreboard. If it doesn't happen tonight, I'm sure it will happen soon. It's nothing I walk around thinking about it." The Canucks won't make any lineup changes when they try to end a 0-1-3 slump, which means Loui Eriksson will play his fourth straight game on the top line with Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin. Eriksson scored his first goal in three games since moving back onto that line during a 2-1 overtime loss against the New Jersey Devils on Sunday. He has spent most of the season on the second or third line but said the chemistry with the Sedins is coming again. "We still have things to work on but I think we know what type of players we are and how we should play," Eriksson said. Defenseman Ben Hutton is out 3-6 weeks with a small fracture in his hand sustained against the Calgary Flames on Jan. 6. 

 

Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson

Colton Sissons -- Mike Fisher -- Austin Watson

Calle Jarnkrok -- Mike Ribeiro -- James Neal

Harry Zolnierczyk -- Derek Grant -- Cody McLeod

Mattias Ekholm -- Yannick Weber

Matt Irwin -- Ryan Ellis

Anthony Bitetto -- Alexandre Carrier 

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Scratched: Craig Smith, Brad Hunt 

Injured: Petter Granberg (undisclosed), Roman Josi (upper body), Miikka Salomaki (lower body), P.K. Subban (upper body), Colin Wilson (lower body)

 

Canucks projected lineup

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Loui Eriksson

Sven Baertschi -- Bo Horvat -- Alexandre Burrows  

Markus Granlund -- Brandon Sutter -- Jayson Megna 

Brendan Gaunce -- Michael Chaput -- Jack Skille 

Alexander Edler -- Troy Stecher

Luca Sbisa -- Christopher Tanev 

Nikita Tryamkin -- Alex Biega

Ryan Miller

Jacob Markstrom

Scratched: Reid Boucher

Injured: Anton Rodin (knee), Ben Hutton (hand), Jannik Hansen (knee), Erik Gudbranson (wrist surgery), Derek Dorsett (neck surgery), Philip Larsen (concussion)

 

Status report

The Predators sent Kevin Fiala to Milwaukee of the American Hockey League to clear room on the roster for Hunt. … Rodin aggravated a knee injury in a fall Jan. 6 and will have an MRI and surgical consultation this week. "After a period of observation his knee hasn't returned to the same level of fitness as before the fall," Canucks general manager Jim Benning said in a press release. "Our Canucks medical team and Anton have determined it is in the best interest to undergo a period of rest, followed by rehab, until his knee strength and function return."

 

Who's hot

Rinne has given up seven goals while going 3-1-0 in his past seven starts. Watson has three goals and an assist during a four-game point streak. … Granlund has scored four goals with an assist in his past five games. Horvat has scored three goals and six assists in his past 10 games.

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