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NHL Final: Nashville Predators 4, Vancouver Canucks 2

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Vancouver Canucks, Matthew Highmore
Matthew Highmore opened the scoring in the 1st period but the Vancouver Canucks lost to the Nashville Predators 4-2.

NHL Final: Nashville Predators 4, Vancouver Canucks 2

Notes Heading In:

Tanner Pearson returns to the line-up coming out of Covid protocol and starts on a line with JT Miller and Brock Boeser. Vasily Podkolzin also pops back into this game after being a healthy scratch last night in Chicago. Justin Dowling and Nils Höglander sit.

Goal Scorers

1st Period 1-0 Vancouver – Matthew Highmore (2) – Juho Lammikko (7:56) Even Strength

1st Period 1-1 Nashville – Ryan Johansen (13) – Michael McCarron, Alexandre Carrier (14:22) Even Strength

1st Period 2-1 Nashville – Filip Forsberg (23) – Philippe Myers, Matt Duchene (15:30) Even Strength

1st Period 2-2 Vancouver – Oliver Ekman-Larsson (3) – Brock Boeser, Tanner Pearson (17:36) Even Strength

2nd Period 3-2 Nashville – Filip Forsberg (24) – Roman Josi, Mikael Granlund (3:12) Power Play

3rd Period 4-2 Nashville – Tanner Jeannot (14) – Mattias Ekholm, Colton Sissons (1:28) Even Strength

Smashville

The Nashville Predators hadn’t played since Thursday, the Vancouver Canucks of course played last night in Chicago. The home team lived up to the ‘Smashville’ moniker by laying the lumber every chance it could. The Predators team leads the league in fights and plays a good old fashioned western-style heavy game. If, punishing the Canucks every time they touched the puck was part of the strategy, the Predators carried it out.

Through two periods Smashville had out-hit the Canucks 36-26 through two periods and definitely set the tone early.

For the game Nashville outhit the Canucks 44-31.

Special Teams

The Predators ended up going 1-for-3 on the power play. The Vancouver Canucks can’t complain too much about their effort as they’ve killed off 15 of the last 16 opponent’s power plays dating back to the St. Louis Blues game at home on January 23rd. Overall for the season they’re still dead last in the NHL at 70%.

The power play went 2-for-2 in Winnipeg last Thursday, JT Miller and Brock Boeser each tallied, but has been quiet since. 0-for-9 since then including 0-for-2 against the Predators.

They Said It:

On the heavy Predators:

Matthew Highmore: “Going into the game every time you come into Nashville you know they’re a big, strong team. We’ve played a couple of those teams lately. We knew what to expect and they definitely came as advertised, but I thought we dealt with it pretty good.”

Oliver Ekman-Larsson: “They’re a pretty heavy team, they came out hard. I thought we were alright the first period and had a lot of chances in the 2nd too and then couldn’t close it out. I thought special teams wasn’t very good tonight and that’s kind of where we lost the game.”

Simmer’s Vancouver Canucks 3 Stars:

3) Thatcher Demko – Wait?! In a game in which he relinquished four goals? Yep, could have been much worse and could have been out of hand early. 24 saves.

3) Luke Schenn – Working in a little carry-over from last game. Not much magic otherwise. Piled up the hits again after a franchise record 12 last game.

1) Conor Garland –  Same story. Carry over from honourable mention last game. Brought energy in 17:16. Couple surprisingly big hits.

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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