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game recap

Canucks end slide with victory against Predators

Hughes has three assists for Vancouver, which gets first win in five games

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Miller pots redirection

NSH@VAN: Miller deflects home the Hughes shot

Quinn Hughes fires a shot that J.T. Miller gets a stick on to redirect past Juuse Saros to extend the Canucks' lead to 5-2 in the 2nd

  • 00:39 •

VANCOUVER -- Quinn Hughes had three assists for the Vancouver Canucks in their first win in five games, 6-2 against the Nashville Predators at Rogers Arena on Monday.

J.T. Miller had a goal and an assist, and Elias Pettersson had two assists for the Canucks (31-21-5), who were 0-3-1 in their previous four games, including three straight losses in regulation. Jacob Markstrom made 36 saves.

"We were ready to go for this game," Miller said. "We did a lot of talking lately, and I think we needed to kind of get out there and play our game and get back to having a good start and put our best foot forward. Obviously, we had a good first period and kind of set the tone right there."

 

[WATCH: All Predators vs. Canucks highlights]

 

The Predators (26-22-7), who fell behind 4-0 early in the second period, lost two in a row to end their four-game road trip to Western Canada and Winnipeg 2-2-0.

"These are big games, but to have no emotion in the first period and playing the game at the hardness you need to play with this time of year is something that we got to figure out why," Nashville coach John Hynes said. "I still believe that comes down to mindset. Why was our mindset not right to start the game?"

The Canucks were without right wing Brock Boeser for the first of at least two games because of an upper-body injury.

Rookie Zack MacEwen, playing on a new top line in Boeser's place with center Bo Horvat and Miller, put Vancouver ahead 1-0 at 7:06 of the first period when he finished a give-and-go with Miller for his second NHL goal.

"The building was buzzing," MacEwen said of a pregame ceremony to honor the four Canucks whose numbers are retired (Pavel Bure, 10; Stan Smyl, 12; Trevor Linden, 16; and Markus Naslund, 19). "It was great to have lots of energy to start the game and to come out with a win, and it's a really good feeling."

Video: NSH@VAN: MacEwen buries wrist shot for opening goal

Brandon Sutter tipped in a pass from Pettersson at the top of the crease on the power play to make it 2-0 at 12:44.

Defenseman Jordie Benn scored his first goal for the Canucks on a point shot through a screen at 13:51 to make it 3-0. It ended a 50-game drought for Benn dating to March 14, 2019, with the Montreal Canadiens.

"Growing up watching the Vancouver Canucks and then finally get my first, it's pretty cool," Benn said.

Tanner Pearson scored to make it 4-0 58 seconds into the second. Alexander Edler's point shot hit Pettersson's backside after he jumped before going in off Pearson in front.

Video: NSH@VAN: Pearson uses body to deflect home puck

Pekka Rinne was pulled following Pearson's goal, the fourth he allowed on 17 shots, and was replaced by Juuse Saros, who made 13 saves.

"I told him when he came out, I didn't pull him because of Pekka," Hynes said. "We had to play better in front of him, and unfortunately we played better when [Jusse] went in and Markstrom stood tall."

Craig Smith made it 4-1 at 5:59 when he scored with a backhand on the power play off the rebound of Roman Josi's one-timer.

Mikael Granlund scored 66 seconds later on a rebound to make it 4-2 at 7:05.

Video: NSH@VAN: Granlund puts home the rebound

Markstrom made saves on Viktor Arvidsson and Rocco Grimaldi on breakaways, and Calle Jarnkrok and Colton Sissons on backdoor chances before Miller made it 5-2 when Hughes' shot went in off his leg at 18:00.

"They had a good push," Miller said. "They're a good team so it's expected but any type of breakdown, Marky has been unreal all year."

Jake Virtanen made it 6-2 on the power play 2:32 into the third.

The Canucks went 10-for-13 on the power play against the Predators this season, sweeping the three games by a combined score of 17-8.

 

They said it

"Down 4-0, it'd be pretty easy to go away at that point. We got two goals pretty quick there, and [Canucks goalie Jacob] Markstrom had seven to 10 Grade A chances that he came up big on. I thought we forced the envelope. It wasn't enough." -- Predators forward Austin Watson, who returned to the lineup after three games as a healthy scratch

"When I was a kid I, if I ever saw them, I'd be totally starstruck, and I'm 32 years old and they walked in, and I was still a little starstruck, so it's just cool just to see these guys." -- Canucks defenseman Jordie Benn on a pregame meeting with Markus Naslund, Trevor Linden and Stan Smyl

 

Need to know

Hughes is the second rookie defenseman in NHL history to have four games with three assists in one season (Ray Bourque, Boston Bruins, 1979-80). ... Hughes has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in the past 10 games and leads NHL rookies with 44 points (eight goals, 36 assists). ... Miller has 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in the past 13 games. ... Jarnkrok had two shots on goal in 15:06 after missing the previous five games with an illness. ... Granlund has five goals in the past eight games.

 

What's next

Predators: Host the New York Islanders on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; FS-TN, MSG+ 2, NHL.TV)

Canucks: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday (10:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN, SN360, NBCSCH, NHL.TV)

Video: Miller, Pettersson lift Canucks to victory

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