Canucks beat Preds to snap slump with 2 goals from Elias Pettersson
Vancouver Canucks centre Adam Gaudette (88) celebrates his goal past Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) during third period NHL action in Vancouver, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
VANCOUVER - With 12 family members and friends watching in the crowd, Elias Pettersson put on show to celebrate his 21st birthday.
Pettersson scored a pair of goals in a wild third period as the Vancouver Canucks ended a four-game winless streak with a 5-3 win over the Nashville Predators Tuesday night.
“It's great to get a win again,” said Pettersson, who has 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in his lasts 12 games. “It's really nice to score goals.”
Tanner Pearson also scored twice, the second into an empty net, and added an assist. Adam Gaudette had a goal and assist for Vancouver (10-6-3), who are 1-3-1 in their last five games.
The Canucks were 3 for 3 on the power play after going 2 for 13 in the previous four games.
“It's only one night but it's really good when the power play scores,” said Pettersson. “That won us the game. We have to bring it the next game and hopefully score some goals.”
Filip Forsberg, Mikael Granlund and Calle Jarnkrok scored for the Predators (9-6-3).
Forsberg was frustrated by Nashville's overall performance.
“It's not good enough,” he said. “It's a little inconsistent. We're not okay with that.”
The teams were tied 1-1 after 40 minutes then combined for six goals in the third period.
“It was really competitive in the first and I thought they had the better of us,” said Predators coach Peter Laviolette. “The last two periods I thought we took over the game, but the difference was the special teams.”
Pettersson's first goal came at 6:09 of the third with the Canucks on a power play. He knocked down an attempted clearing pass with his chest, gained control of the puck, and took a couple of strides before ripping a shot over the glove of Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne.
His second, and eighth of the season, came off the rebound on a rush at 11:41.
Pearson scored the game's first goal early in the second period on a power play. Gaudette fed a streaking Pearson the puck and he beat Rinne on the blocker side for his third goal of the season and first in 15 games.
“It's been a long time since the last one so it's nice to get one,” he said.
Vancouver had managed just five goals in its last four games.
“We were getting our chances and the puck just wasn't going in,” said Gaudette. “The only thing you can do is just grind through it and keep going.”
Thatcher Demko made 34 saves for the Canucks. Pekka Rinne stopped 21 shots for Nashville.
The Predators outshot Vancouver 19-7 in the second period. Demko faced a pair of breakaways in a 20-second span. First Craig Smith put a shot over the net, then Demko blocked a Granlund shot.
The Predators used their big, mobile defence to help create offence.
“It's something you kind of have to be aware of,” said Demko. “They like to get in the rush and are really active.
“I thought we handled it really well. Guys were boxing out, letting me see pucks. Wingers closed on them quick, limiting their time and space.”
Canuck coach Travis Green liked the resilience his team showed.
Vancouver started the game without centre Jay Beagle, who is out with an undisclosed injury, then lost centre Brandon Sutter early in the first period.
“That was a gutsy effort by our team all the way around,” said Green. “We talked to our group before the game that we are going to need all hands on-deck, to bring their best.
“That (Nashville) is a good team and that was a big win.”
NOTES: Canuck goaltender Jacob Markstrom announced on social media Sunday that his father had died in Sweden. Sutter, who has a history of sports hernias, left the game with what the team called “a lower body injury.” Canuck captain Bo Horvat logged a game high 27 minutes, six seconds, including 11:48 in the third period. Nashville defenceman Dante Fabbro, a native of Coquitlam, B.C., played his first game in Vancouver and had over 100 family and friends in attendance. Actor Bill Murry attended the game.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 12, 2019.