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Dakota Joshua, Canucks Claw Back to Defeat Predators, 4-2



Dakota Joshua

It has been 3,287 days since the Canucks last hosted a playoff game at Rogers Arena. The wait was worth it on Sunday night, as Dakota Joshua and the Canucks twice came back from one-goal deficits to defeat the Nashville Predators, 4-2.

In a physical game with over 71 combined hits between the two teams, the Predators drew the first blood through Jason Zucker, who caught Thatcher Demko guessing in heavy traffic to give Nashville a 1-0 lead.

The Canucks would enter the first intermission down 1-0 and having to stomach a dismal period that saw their opponents out-shoot them 6-4. After the break, the Canucks came out like they had a game to win. Their heroes would arrive right on time.

A slightly better period for Vancouver, Elias Lindholm equalized for the Canucks after just 47 seconds, fooling Juuse Saros with a blocker-side shot that tied the game at 1-1. After a Teddy Blueger penalty put them on the power play, Ryan O’Reilly and the Predators restored their one-goal lead just over halfway through the middle frame.

Pius Suter brought the Canucks level nine minutes into the third period with his redirection from the low slot, and 12 seconds later, Joshua got to work.

Having already recorded the primary assist on Lindholm’s second period goal, Joshua struck again, this time converting immediately after Suter scored to give the Canucks their first lead of the night.

Per NHL PR, these were the two closest goals in Canucks playoff history; the previous two closest were 15 seconds apart in the 1989 Division semifinals against the Calgary Flames.

With the Predators trailing and pressing for a goal, Joshua sealed the game on an empty-net goal with 1:28 left on the clock.

Canucks captain Quinn Hughes finished the game with two assists while Demko stopped 20 of 22 shots. Joshua scored two goals and an assist, and Lindholm went 60% on faceoffs to go with a goal in his Canucks playoff debut.

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