All good things must eventually come to an end. The Nashville Predators fell 4-2 to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night at Rogers Arena, seeing their franchise-record, 14-game point streak come to a close. Nashville’s streak of 13 consecutive road games with at least a point also ended with the loss.
“Tonight, there's no question we didn't play very well in the first period, and we were slow to get off the mark,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “The second and third period we took over the game, but they got a bounce off of a shin guard for a goal, and we couldn't get the one to tie it up and that's what you get for digging yourself a hole in the first period.”
Nashville fell behind by one and then two goals in the opening frame, as forwards Sven Baertschi and Derek Dorsett found twine in the period’s final three minutes to put the Canucks up 2-0 at the end of the first.
The tide started to turn over the first half of the middle stanza with the Predators pounding the Canucks net and hounding Vancouver on the forecheck. Mike Fisher broke through for the Predators at 9:17 of the second, deflecting a Roman Josi feed into the cage. The play began with Miikka Salomaki sending a spinning pass from the halfwall up to Shea Weber for a one-touch pass to Josi with Fisher ultimately claiming his 11th of the season.
After Bo Horvat gave the Canucks a two-goal lead once more, it was Josi dishing again, this time with a slick pass to Vancouver native Colton Sissons for his second goal in three games, one-timing the feed past Ryan Miller to bring the Preds to within a goal once more.
Nashville continued the pressure into the final period, but Miller finished with 35 saves on the night to hand the Preds their first regulation loss since Feb. 9.
The Predators picked up 23 points in the standings over the course of the 14-game stretch and currently sit seven points up in the race for the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.
“Really important, it's a tight playoff race and we need all the points we can get,” Josi said. “It got us some separation from the teams below us, but it's still a tight race and we’re nowhere near the playoffs yet, so we have to keep it going and get points along the way here.”
Gif of the Game:
Pekka Rinne slides to the front of the net and uses his right pad to deny a high quality Canucks chance.
Colton Sissons on scoring a goal in his hometown of Vancouver with family and friends in attendance:
“It's a little bit surreal still. I grew up idolizing this team, the Canucks, and was a big fan throughout my whole childhood. To be able to score a goal is pretty awesome.”
The Preds are 12-2-4 against Canadian teams this season.
Nashville now has a 9-1-5 record since Feb. 12.
The Predators will finish their current five-game road trip on Monday night in Edmonton against the Oilers, before returning home on St. Patrick’s Day for a date with the New York Islanders.
Roman Josi, who delivered some dynamite passes on Tuesday night, is the Predators lone representative in the Three Stars of the night.
Infographic: Comeback Falls Short