NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tomas Vokoun and Nashville Predators made it look easy against the slumping Vancouver Canucks.
Vokoun made 31 saves for his third shutout of the season and Dan Hamhuis and Scott Hartnell each had a goal and an assist in the Predators' 5-0 victory over Vancouver on Tuesday night.
"It's a big win for us," Vokoun said. "Our goal was to put more space between them and us in the standings."
Nashville has earned at least one point in the tight Western Conference standings in six straight games, including three victories over Vancouver in a 12-day span. The Canucks have lost five consecutive games.
"We executed really well and took parts of their game away and established parts of our game tonight," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "You need a lot of different parts working together if you want to be successful."
Jordin Tootoo, Scottie Upshall, and Jerred Smithson also scored for the Predators, and Steve Sullivan had three assists. Nashville is four points ahead of Colorado for the fourth playoff spot in the Western Conference and nine points behind first-place Detroit in the Central Division.
"We had our legs tonight, everyone was flying, and Vokoun was steady as a rock again for us," Sullivan said. "We're still gunning for Detroit, and we have plenty of games left."
Hamhuis scored the game's first goal at 3:05 of the opening period.
From the right faceoff circle, Adam Hall sent a pass to Hamhuis at the left point. Hamhuis ripped a slap shot by goalie Mika Noronen. The goal was Hamhuis' third of the season, but first since Nov. 23.
Noronen made his first appearance in goal for the Canucks after being acquired from the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.
"We had hoped Noronen would come in and have a good game, and he didn't," Vancouver coach Marc Crawford said. "We're not performing at our top level, and we have to eliminate as much negative thought as possible."
Tootoo put the Predators ahead 2-0 at 8:28 of the second period.
Vancouver's best scoring opportunity came with 46 seconds remaining in the second period. With the Canucks on the power play, Vokoun moved across his crease to kick away Anson Carter's shot.
The Canucks were 0-for-8 on the power play Tuesday night, and are 1-for-28 with the man-advantage on their current losing streak.
"We had chances, it is just a matter of finishing them and getting those key goals," Vancouver captain Markus Naslund said. "It's difficult, the pucks are not going in, and as an offensive player, the only thing you can do is keep pushing."