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game recap

Miller, Canucks end Predators point streak

Nashville loses first game in regulation since Feb. 9

by Kevin Woodley / Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- It took a lunge and a little bit of luck, but goaltender Ryan Miller was able to help the Vancouver Canucks avoid another collapse in the third period.

Miller made 31 of his 35 saves in the second and third period, and Vancouver hung on to end the Nashville Predators point streak at 14 games with a 4-2 victory at Rogers Arena on Saturday.

The Canucks had the worst record in the NHL with a lead entering the third period (15-4-7, .577 winning percentage), and if not for Miller's right-foot save to rob James Neal on a rebound chance from close range at 4:55 of the third period, they may have added another loss.

"That's a little bit of desperation where it hits the inside of my foot and stays out instead of skipping under," Miller said. "That's a little bit of luck … and maybe due for it too."

Video: NSH@VAN: Horvat scores on shin pad deflection

Sven Baertschi and Derek Dorsett scored late in the first period, Bo Horvat scored the winning goal midway through the second, and Daniel Sedin scored into an empty net for the Canucks (27-28-12), who have won two straight and three of the past four.

Alexandre Burrows and Radim Vrbata each had two assists to help Vancouver hand Nashville its first regulation loss since Feb. 9.

"We played a great hockey team tonight and I thought we did a great job," said Horvat, who had an assist.

The win ended a three-game losing streak for Miller, who is splitting starts with Jacob Markstrom. Miller gave up two long goals in the third period in his previous start, a 5-1 loss against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday, and Vancouver blew a third-period lead the one before that, a 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on March 3.

"Just trying to compete," Miller said. "The last few games I haven't gotten out of the third period with much success personally. Just trying to carry a consistent battle throughout the whole night."

Video: NSH@VAN: Miller commits robbery in front

The Predators were 9-0-5 in their previous 14 games, the longest point streak in the NHL entering Saturday and the longest in their history.

Nashville defenseman Roman Josi was disappointed by how they started the game.

"Today was just bad. We didn't work hard in the first period," said Josi, who had the primary assist on each Nashville goal. "There's no effort, and that just can't happen. … We just didn't battle."

Mike Fisher and Colton Sissons scored, and Pekka Rinne made 24 saves for the Predators (34-22-13), including 11 on 13 shots in the first period.

"Pekka really held us in that first period," Sissons said. "It probably should have been more than 2-0."

Video: NSH@VAN: Dorsett nets Horvat's no-look pass

Ben Hutton's one-timer from the point went wide to Rinne's left but bounced back out to Baertschi, who fought off defenseman Shea Weber's check and backhanded the puck before Rinne could recover. It was Baertschi's 14th goal.

Dorsett scored 1:17 later after another tough bounce. Rinne stopped Burrows' shot from the right faceoff circle with his pad, but the rebound bounced hard off the back boards to Horvat on the other side of the net. Horvat's blind backhand pass went right to Dorsett at the top of the crease, and he one-timed it under Rinne for his fourth goal, ending a 29-game drought.

It was the second straight game the Predators fell behind 2-0; they came back to force overtime before losing 3-2 to the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.

Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said he isn't worried about the poor starts yet.

"Tonight, there's no question we didn't play very well in the first period and were slow to get off the mark," Laviolette said. "If something happens over and over and over again, you look at what are we doing wrong, but our team has been a really good starting team. I haven't seen a long-term problem, so hopefully there is not a long-term problem."

Video: NSH@VAN: Baertsci nets a backhand, opens the scoring

The Predators dominated the second period, outshooting the Canucks 17-8.

Fisher made it 2-1 at 9:17. Nashville's forecheck pinned Vancouver in its own end through a line change before Josi spotted Fisher cutting into the slot for a redirection past Miller. It was Fisher's 11th goal.

Horvat made it 3-1 when he drove the net and had a rebound bounce in off his shin pad 1:18 later for his 11th goal.

Josi helped closed the gap again. After skating the puck up the ice and executing a give-and-go with Austin Watson at the blue line, Josi hit Sissons, who is from nearby North Vancouver, with a backhand pass for a tap-in to make it 3-2. It was Sissons' third goal.

"It's a little bit surreal still," said Sissons, who had more than 20 friends and family members in attendance. "I grew up idolizing this team and the Canucks and was a big fan throughout my childhood. To be able to score a goal here is pretty awesome."

Video: Miller, Horvat lead Canucks over Preds

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