Tuesday, October 31, 2006
It was Halloween night and the Canucks were set to host the Predators. Nashville came into the game trying to exact some revenge after the Canucks stole two points in the Music City on their last road trip. Helping matters was the Canucks' recent smashing success on the penalty kill. Hurting them was their recent lack of success on the power play. The good thing was that the Canucks hadn't lost a game against the Central Division coming into the game. Of course, Nashville is a very good team and Tomas Vokoun is a very good goaltender. In related third-period madness, the Canucks were 3-22-3 last season when trailing after two periods of play. Coming into Halloween, the Canucks were 3-2 this season when trailing after 40 minutes.
Dan Hamhuis fired a shot from the right point that was deflected wide of the net. Alexander Radulov ran down the puck on the left-wing boards and flung it toward the goal, where it went off of Mattias Ohlund's stick in front and into the net past Roberto Luongo.
»» 1, NASHVILLE, Alexander Radulov 2 (Dan Hamhuis, David Legwand) 5:33
Jason Arnott on the left-wing boards passed to Steve Sullivan past the goal line to the left of the net. Sullivan passed across the low slot and found Ryan Suter just inside the right hash, who beat Luongo inside the far post.
»» 2, NASHVILLE, powerplay, Ryan Suter 2 (Steve Sullivan, Jason Arnott) 8:11
Nashville outshot the Canucks 10-7 in the period. They were 1-for-3 on the power play and didn't take a penalty.
With the Canucks shorthanded early on, Trevor Linden dropped a pass back to Matt Cooke along the boards on the right side in the Vancouver zone, but Cooke was stapled to said boards by Shea Weber. Just past the halfway point in the period, Ohlund coughed up the puck in his own zone, and Sullivan spotted Vernon Fiddler in the high slot to get a quick chance on Luongo, who made the nifty glove save. On the dying seconds of a late Vancouver power play, Ohlund faked a slapshot from the blue line, then took it and it got through on Tomas Vokoun.
»» 3, VANCOUVER, Mattias Ohlund 2 (Jan Bulis, Brendan Morrison) 17:41
Nashville outshot Vancouver 8-7 in the period (18-14 overall). Both teams were 0-for-2 on the power play, leaving Nashville 1-for-5 and Vancouver 0-for-2.
Halfway into a Vancouver power play just past the five-minute mark, Kevin Bieksa coughed up the puck along the right-wing boards in the Vancouver zone, enabling Sullivan to walk to the doorstep on Luongo with a great chance, but Luongo came up with a great glove save. Just over eight minutes in, Sami Salo took a slapshot off a draw that was blocked in front, and the puck found its way to Markus Naslund, who from behind the right circle put the puck on the net and had it trickle through Vokoun's legs as Jan Bulis was inconsequentially pushed into Vokoun and the net by Marek Zidlicky.
»» 4, VANCOUVER, Markus Naslund 6 (Sami Salo) 8:12
A cross-ice pass by Bulis was easily intercepted by JP Dumont and the Predators ran it the other way. Dumont sent Sullivan away with a pass, and Sullivan tried stuffing it through Luongo but was stopped. The rebound leaked to Luongo's glove side. Sullivan had skated past the goal line on the same side, but he spotted the puck and reached for it with his stick, lofting it over Luongo as the Vancouver goaltender was diving over to try and cover it up.
»» 5, NASHVILLE, Sullivan (JP Dumont) 14:19
With about 2:30 left to play, Kevin Bieksa left a drop pass on the left side for Daniel Sedin, who shot toward the net, where brother Henrik tipped the puck on the net, but Vokoun stopped it. The Canucks had a final flurry of scoring chances in the final 20 seconds with Luongo pulled for an extra skater, but none of the attempts were fruitful. Nashville was outshot 10-6 in the third as shots finished 24 apiece. Nashville was 0-for-1 (1-for-6) on the power play while Vancouver was 0-for-2 (0-for-4). Luongo stopped 21 shots for the game.
Three stars -- (1) Nashville's Steve Sullivan, (2) Naslund, (3) Nashville's Tomas Vokoun
In the faceoff circle, the Canucks won 30 of 58 draws (52%). Brendan Morrison won 12 of 19, Ryan Kesler won four of eight, Josh Green won one of two, Marc Chouinard won six of 12, and Henrik Sedin won seven of 15. Mattias Ohlund, Markus Naslund, Green, and Henrik Sedin led with three shots apiece. Kevin Bieksa dished out three hits and Luc Bourdon, Taylor Pyatt, Rory Fitzpatrick, and Matt Cooke dealt a pair each. Bieksa notched two takeaways and coughed up the puck three times. Lukas Krajicek blocked two shots. Fitzpatrick missed the net with three shots.
In plus-minus, there were very few non-even Canucks. Both at plus-1 were Krajicek and Sami Salo. Both at minus-1 were Bieksa and Fitzpatrick. All other Canuck skaters were even.
The loss dropped the Canucks to a record of 7-5-1 (3-0 overtime, 1-1 shootout), good for 15 points. They are second in the Northwest Division. They are three points back of Minnesota, one up on Edmonton, and three up on Colorado, all of whom have two games in hand. Calgary is eight back having played three less games. Vancouver is sixth in the Western Conference. Anaheim (one game in hand) has zero regulation losses and leads with 21 points, Minnesota is second, Nashville has the same amount of points as Vancouver but leads the Central Division and is therefore third, Dallas is fourth and three up on Vancouver with two less games, and San Jose is three up on Vancouver having played the same amount of games.