The Nashville Predators couldn't erase a four-goal Vancouver lead and fell, 5-3, to the Canucks at Rogers Arena on Thursday night. The loss snaps Nashville's two-game winning streak and sees them move to 0-4-1 in their last five outings away from home.
From the start of Thursday's contest, the Canucks were faster than their opponents, with the Preds saying they didn't match Vancouver's speed or intensity in the first 30 minutes.
"We just gave them way too many chances," Preds Captain Roman Josi said. "We turned the puck over too much, especially in the first two periods. We have to play a lot better defensively."
"Their fast game appeared even faster because of our puck decisions," Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "We gave up way too much in the first period and the first half of the game."
The Canucks seized a 2-0 advantage after 20 minutes of play thanks to a power-play goal from Alexander Edler and a tally at 19:33 from Bo Horvat.
Preds winger Ryan Hartman cut the deficit to one when he redirected a Yannick Weber shot past Jacob Markstrom at the 7:21 mark of the second stanza. However, Jake Virtanen got it back moments later, and Elias Pettersson beat Pekka Rinne on a penalty shot late in the period to give Vancouver a 4-1 lead through 40 minutes.
Video: NSH@VAN: Hartman redirects shot past Markstrom
Juuse Saros entered the game for the Preds in the third period, and the visitors battled back and had a number of chances. Nashville scored the last two goals of the contest to make the final mark closer, with British Columbia natives Colton Sissons and Matt Irwin converting.
"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 us the game."
"It's been happening too much as of late," Josi said. "We're not playing well defensively and not making the right decisions, so we have to look at it and correct it."
Video: NSH@VAN: Sissons converts feed from Josi
Up next, Nashville will face Calgary for the second time this season. The Preds claimed a 5-3 victory at Scotiabank Saddledome on Oct. 19 - and the visitors would certainly like to erase the memory of Thursday's performance with a bounce back against the Flames.
"It's tough, but we'll bounce back," Sissons said. "We'll be just fine."
Video: NSH Recap: Sissons has goal, assist in 5-3 loss
Anthony Bitetto and Zac Rinaldo were scratched for the Predators on Monday.
Juuse Saros saw his first action since his last start on Nov. 23 in St. Louis.
Nashville's two-game trip concludes on Saturday night in Calgary with a meeting against the Flames. The Predators then return for a three-game homestand next week, beginning on Tuesday against Ottawa.