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game recap

Pettersson helps Canucks top Predators, end four-game losing streak

Scores on first NHL penalty shot, has assist for Vancouver

by Kevin Woodley / Correspondent

Pettersson's amazing penalty shot

NSH@VAN: Pettersson shows off hands on penalty shot

Elias Pettersson skates in and makes a filthy move before sliding the puck past Pekka Rinne on a penalty shot in the 2nd period

  • 00:44 •

VANCOUVER -- Elias Pettersson scored on his first NHL penalty shot and had an assist to help the Vancouver Canucks end a four-game losing streak with a 5-3 win against the Nashville Predators at Rogers Arena on Thursday.

Jake Virtanen and Bo Horvat each had a goal and an assist for the Canucks (12-16-3), who won for the second time in 14 games (2-10-2).

"I think we played good some games that we lost," Pettersson said. "It's good to finally be rewarded, get some bounces with us. We played really good today. This is what it's going to take from us to be successful. Hopefully we can build on this."


[WATCH: All Predators vs. Canucks highlights]


Alexander Edler scored on a power play, Loui Eriksson scored just after another power play expired, and Jacob Markstrom made 26 saves for Vancouver.

"We played a hard hockey game and got rewarded," Markstrom said after his second win in 10 starts dating to Nov. 8. "We can't be happy and relax and think it's over. We have some catching up to do."

Ryan Hartman, Colton Sissons and Matt Irwin scored for the Predators (19-9-1), who were without defenseman P.K. Subban and top-six forwards Kyle Turris, Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson because of injury.

"They were faster than us, and we turned the puck over way too much, so a fast game appeared even faster just because of our puck decisions," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. 

Pekka Rinne, who came into the game with an NHL-leading .935 save percentage, made several difficult saves early but was pulled after allowing four goals on 25 shots in two periods. Juuse Saros made four saves in the third.

"It could have been 5-0 after the first, honestly, without Pekka in there," Sissons said.

Video: NSH@VAN: Horvat goes top shelf off Virtanen's feed

Pettersson made it 4-1 with 1:11 left in the second period, scoring the eventual winning goal on a penalty shot deke after being knocked down on a breakaway by defenseman Mattias Ekholm. The 20-year-old center leads NHL rookies with 14 goals and 25 points.

"I was trying to fake and go right to left. It worked out this time," said Pettersson, whose goal came shortly after Markstrom stopped Sissons and Rocco Grimaldi in alone. "Everybody was locked in and was working hard all game long, then Markie made a lot of key saves. A very good game from us."

Edler scored on a one-timer from the point to give Vancouver a 1-0 lead at 7:48 of the first period, ending an 0-for-12 power-play slump. 

Rinne made sliding saves on two cross-ice chances before Horvat scored on a third at 19:33 to give Vancouver its first 2-0 lead of the season.

"I felt like with our speed we were catching them on 2-on-1s a lot," said Virtanen, who made the pass to Horvat. "We stuck to our system and the structure of our game throughout the whole game."

Hartman scored on a deflection to make it 2-1 at 7:21 of the second period, but Virtanen converted another odd-man rush for a 3-1 lead at 8:57.

Video: NSH@VAN: Virtanen buries Roussel's pass on the rush

After Pettersson beat Rinne late in the second period, Saros made his first appearance in six games to start the third.

"Pekka was great," Laviolette said. "How many breakaways and 2-on-1s and 3-on-1s can you see before one of them is going to go in? So it's 100 percent on us."

Eriksson beat Saros on a rebound to make it 5-1 at 1:21 of the third period, ending a 10-game streak without a point.

Sissons scored at 5:17 to make it 5-2, and Irwin brought the Predators within 5-3 with 1:23 left with his first goal of the season.

"I thought we pushed back in the second half of the game but it was too late," Laviolette said. "The start wasn't good and it ended up costing the game."


They said it

"It was a highly skilled move by a highly skilled player. It was a huge goal for us at the time, especially towards the end of the period. You expect him to do those kind of things and it's nice to see that go in for him." -- Canucks center Bo Horvat on Elias Pettersson's penalty-shot goal


"That was a little bit ugly. We came out extremely slow and [with] a lack of determination and they were quite the opposite." -- Predators forward Colton Sissons

Need to know

Pettersson is the third rookie in Canucks history to score on a penalty shot (Ivan Hlinka, 1981-82 and Pavel Bure, 1991-92). … Pettersson has eight points (four goals, four assists) in his past 14 games after starting his NHL career with 17 points (10 goals, seven assists) in his first 11 games. … Horvat has nine points (three goals, six assists) in his past nine games. … Saros hadn't played since being pulled after giving up five goals on 15 shots in 31:53 in a 6-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Nov. 23. 

What's next

Predators: At the Calgary Flames on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, SN360, SN1, CITY, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Canucks: At the St. Louis Blues on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; FS-MW, SNP, NHL.TV)

Video: Pettersson, Horvat lead Canucks past Predators

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