drew many of the headlines from tonight’s game … and for good reason. Tootoo played the super-pest role to a “T.” He opened the game by dropping the gloves with Alex Burrows as retribution for Burrows’s hit on J.P. Dumont from the last meeting between these two teams and finished the game with five hits, three takeaways, and two shots on goal in 11:55 of ice time.
But Shea Weber
was the unsung player of the game. Weber skated 26:33 of ice time, his most since November 25 against St. Louis and his most in a non-overtime game since October 23 against Calgary. And he finished the game with four hits and three shots on goal, but was a physical presence well beyond the stats line, using his strength to win battles along the boards throughout the night.
Weber had logged 17:15 of play through the first two periods and still may have been at his best during the third period – a frame in which he was on the ice for almost half the game time.
On one shift midway through the third he dished out two hits in the defensive end to breakup Vancouver attempts to generate a cycle in the corner. After the second hit he picked up the loose puck and single-handedly cleared the play out of the defensive zone.
With 3:35 remaining in the game he defused Vancouver’s two-on-one breakaway to help keep the Preds within one goal and then with 44.3 seconds remaining he won a race for a loose puck to negate a potential empty net chance for the Canucks. In the final flurry, Weber created the team’s last quality chance when he snapped a shot at net which was deflected just wide as time expired.