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Predators-Canucks Preview @NHL

Spotless penalty killing at home had been a bright spot for an otherwise porous Vancouver Canucks defense.

However, the Canucks have now proven to be vulnerable even at GM Place, and they won't catch a break Tuesday night when they face Martin Erat and the surging Nashville Predators.

Vancouver (6-6-0) has given up 3.2 goals per game, but it had been playing well defensively at home. The Canucks allowed four goals in three games at GM Place before a 3-2 loss to Detroit on Sunday night.

Much of the defensive success on home ice was due to the Canucks' stellar penalty killing, as they thwarted all 12 power-play opportunities in their first three games in Vancouver. The Red Wings, though, went 3-for-5 with the man advantage.

"It's a huge part of our team and our game, and we've got to make sure we're pinpoint on that," Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo said.

Luongo is off to a mediocre start, posting a 2.99 goals-against average. He'll likely be back in net as the Canucks try to slow down Erat and the Predators (6-4-1).

On Saturday night, Erat netted his team-best sixth goal of the season against Florida to tie the game, and then had the only goal in the shootout in Nashville's 3-2 win.

The veteran winger has three goals and one assist in the last four games, with the Predators going 3-0-1.

"I'm just trying to do the same things all of the time," Erat said. "Right now, everything is working. But it's a long season. There are going to be bumps in the road."

Nashville coach Barry Trotz has called upon a number of players to step forward and take their games to a higher level, and Erat has responded.

"Marty has a little more ownership," Trotz said. "He has emerged into a leader. That was mandated by us for Marty this year.

"Anytime he has the chance to shoot in those prime scoring areas we want him to shoot. Sometimes he will double clutch and try to make a play, but he is best when he is shooting the puck and keeping it simple."

Shea Weber also scored for the Predators on Saturday. The defenseman, who had six goals in 54 games last season, is second on the team with five goals and seven assists.

Nashville could use a boost from Erat and Weber as it hits the road, where it plays its next six games and eight of the next nine. The Predators are 1-3-1 away from the Sommet Center.

Vancouver will be trying to avoid a third straight loss at home. Sunday's contest was the opener of a six-game homestand for the Canucks.

Vancouver has totaled two goals in its last two home games after scoring six in each of its first two contests at GM Place. The Canucks went 0-for-7 on the power play against Detroit.

They played without winger Jannik Hansen, who's fourth among NHL rookies with seven points (three goals, four assists). He's listed as day-to-day after pulling his groin late in Friday's 7-6 shootout win at Anaheim.

Vancouver went 3-1-0 against Nashville last season.

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